Amazon reviews for monet's angels

5★Read Again and Again

For me, the measure of a good book is if, along with a feeling of intense satisfaction, I feel like starting it again immediately after finishing it. This was definitely the case with this captivating book. As the title suggests, the famous artist Monet is the lynchpin of the novel.

Take a fascinating journey into the lives of people who become caught up in intrigues that, unbeknown to the artist, surround Monet. He lives his reclusive life working and painting in his much loved house, while being devoted to his ongoing project: the now famous garden at Giverny.

Jennifer Pulling writes in a light and whimsical style that skillfully suggests far deeper levels than are immediately evident. She brings hints of the profound colour surface of Monet’s renowned work into her beautiful descriptions (brushstrokes in words) and often secretive, yet revealing, dialogues:

Running parallel to the mounting intrigues and potential love matches, as well as Monet’s personal preoccupations, is the fascinating life that his ‘step-daughter’ Blanche Monet lives with him. Thanks to his initial instruction in her early life, her accomplished paintings are a constant reminder to her of a life she could lead were it not dominated by the great artist. He rules her life lovingly but, at the same time, like a martinet who habitually interrupts her artistic flow with his day to day household concerns. However, she seems willingly devoted to him. Through this extraordinary relationship we are given a deep insight into the lives that were often laid upon women in those days, and which was accepted by them as par for the course, often at the expense of their own potentially exceptional careers and their private emotional lives.

Jennifer Pulling delightfully builds her fascinating characters with artful use of her knowledge of the elegant fashions, styles and attitudes of the times, which makes a reading experience that is vivid and alive. It would be no surprise to learn that this book were to be sought after for a TV series or a film. It certainly deserves a sequel! [Author's note: Monet's Angels did have a sequel: Monet's Shadow.] 

5★ Engrossing, articulate and well-written

I wasn't sure what to expect when I read this book. I got it solely because I have seen copies or lithographs of Monet's work and really enjoyed them so I thought I would learn more about him through this book. Boy, was I right! Through graphic prose Pulling paints a picture of the man that is at least as vivid as Monet's artwork was. The man; his rather cavalier attitude toward women in general, and those in his family specifically, as well as those which enter a caretaking or romantic relation with him, especially as his eyesight wanes is very telling of the insecurities of the man in this situation. I definitely recommend reading this book, it is articulate, well-written, engrossing and enlightening.


5 Review of Monet's Angels

I have just read Monet's Angels and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is extremely well written and all characters well drawn. The author has a wide knowledge of the artist's work and shows real insight into his personality and talent. His relationship with his step-daughter Blanche is particularly well drawn, and the familiar garden comes vividly to life. The character of Judith, the author's own invention, is a way of adding a romantic and convincing interest to the story. She is a fascinating girl and no wonder she gets into trouble with men. She adds a bit of raciness to spice up what might otherwise be a fairly academic book. One really feels sorry for her at the end. I recommend the book to all students of Monet - you will get far more out of this than your tutor can give you!

5 A very good read and fascinating novel

I highly recommend Monet's Angels: the characters are well rounded, totally believable and come alive on the page. You feel with and for them. This book perfectly captures the atmosphere of that time and circle of artists, ex-pats and local people. It is full of a painter's point of view, you almost see and smell the garden that so much inspired Monet and you understand his seeing the world as a play of light and colour. I was also touched and deeply moved by the enduring theme of the women who sacrifice their own lives, careers and dreams for the men in their lives.

5An elegant tale based on Monet's work

I have never been to Monet's Giverny but this book whets the appetite! I do admire the research that has gone into this beautiful book. To combine such detail - the strokes of the brush, the complex mix of paints as well as the palette of colours in the fabulous garden and then add a riveting and elegant tale of sacrifice, loss and love. This book is not all about women, there is Claude Monet himself with his failing eyesight and irascible temper, Robert, the ex-pat who one would like to know more of. I have lived in France and feel that Jennifer Pulling has caught the atmosphere of the nearby village and its characters. A mesmerizing book, one is left wanting more.

5I loved Judith's character and how she flamboyantly arrives disrupting the ...

Reading Monet's Angels threw me into the early 20th Century of Giverny. I felt I was there enjoying the garden and the art. I loved Judith's character and how she flamboyantly arrives disrupting the household and the rivalry between her and Blanche adds tension. The other characters dip in and out gently and of course Monet's presence is formidable and moving. A lovely read!

5 Well worth the Monet

My wife read Monet's Angels and loved it, which is perhaps not surprising as it is not just a really well researched book, but a page-turner as well, and she is very much in the target market. The more surprising thing is that I thought it was great too, and I'm just a bloke!

5The best book I have read so far in 2017

Monet’s Angels by Jennifer Pulling is quite simply, the best book I have read so far in 2017. It is a page-turner and one finds oneself drawn into the intrigues and mysteries of pre-war France. Monet, genius that he is, is high-maintenance and demanding. Blanche, his step-daughter gives up a very promising career as an artist in her own right, to take care of him, and the running of the house. Into this set up, various characters are woven with a deft hand, each one interesting in their own right. Jennifer’s description of Giverney is spell-binding, so much so that one could almost smell the roses, and the other wonderful flowers that Monet had planted there. She painted with words, what Monet painted with pastels. It is truly a mesmerising book with characters that are real and credible. I can’t wait for the sequel to see what happens to Judith, Robert, and Blanche, herself. A riveting read.

5 A great compulsive read

Fabulous book. This is a great read. Well written – Couldn’t put it down. Captures the times beautifully and paints the pictures and scenes with prose and words. Highly recommended.

4★ Good story, based on fact

This is obviously based on fact, but how true to life it is difficult to tell unless you are a Monet scholar. However, it made for a good story, especially of the differences between culture in France, UK and America at the time, and gave some interesting insights into Monet's method of painting and the inspiration that drove him. Feminists will be horrified by the lives of the women involved, and their sacrifices.