The Lady with the Dark Hair Book Review

Posted by abakersp in Contemporary, Historical, Reviews / Spotlights / 1 Comment

I’ve been a fan of Erin Bartels for awhile now, and I was so delighted when I got my copy of her latest release, The Lady with the Dark Hair. Believe me when I say it is well worth your time.

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About the Book

The Lady with the Dark Hair Book ReviewThe Lady with the Dark Hair
Author Erin Bartels
Published by Baker Books
on March 26, 2024
Genres: Fiction / Christian / Contemporary, Fiction / Historical / General, Fiction / Women
Pages: 352

Esther Markstrom and her artist mother have always been proud of their ancestor, painter Francisco Vella. They even run a small museum and gallery dedicated to raising awareness of his scandalously underappreciated work. But when Esther reconnects with her former art history professor, she finds her once-solid family history on shaky ground as questions arise about Vella's greatest work--a portrait entitled The Lady with the Dark Hair.

In 1879, Catalan orphan-turned-fugitive Viviana Torrens has found sanctuary serving in the home of an aging artist in Southern France. It is in his studio that she meets Francisco Vella, a Gibraltarian merchant who sells artists' pigments. When her past catches up to her, she is compelled to pose as Vella's sister and join him on his travels or be deported back to Spain to stand trial. Along the way she will discover that the many parts she has been playing in order to hide her identity have far-reaching implications she never could have foreseen.

This dual-timeline story from award-winning author Erin Bartels takes readers from the sleepy Midwest to the sultry Mediterranean on a relentless search for truth, identity, and the freedom to follow one's dreams.

Amazon | Goodreads | Baker Book House

My Perspective

Bartels is such an amazing writer. She gives depth to her characters and her storylines. And you could see Bartels’ passion for art as she described each piece of work, each time someone was painting, just all of it. I found myself mesmerized equally by each time period, never wanting to break away. To say that this story was simply stunning would be an understatement.

Readers who are looking for something different, something poetic, and something that will touch you heart, will devour The Lady with the Dark Hair. Esther and Viviana will inspire readers in ways no other characters have. I highly recommend reading this beautifully written novel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

About the Author

ERIN BARTELS writes character-driven fiction for curious people. Her readers know to expect that each of her novels will tell a unique story about fallible characters so tangible that it’s hard to believe they are not real people. Whether urban, rural, or somewhere in between, her settings come alive with carefully crafted details that engage all the senses and transport the reader to a singular time and place. And her themes of reckoning with the past, improving the present, and looking with hope to the future leave her readers with a sense of peace and possibility.

Erin is the award-winning author of We Hope for Better Things, The Words between Us, All That We Carried, The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water, Everything Is Just Beginning, and The Lady with the Dark Hair. A two-time Christy finalist and winner of two WFWA Star Awards and two Michigan Notable Book Awards, Erin has been a publishing professional for more than twenty years. After eighteen years in Michigan’s capital city, she now lives with her family in a charming small town surrounded by farm fields and pasturelands.

You can find her on Facebook @ErinBartelsAuthor and on Instagram @erinbartelswrites.

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