The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose (♦♦♦)
Daughters of La Lune
Delphine Duplessi is a descendant of renowned French courtesan La Lune. As a “daughter of La Lune”, she has inherited psychic gifts, but also a curse. Her gift is that she is able of drawing “shadow portraits”, which depict people’s secrets. Unfortunately, Delphine’s gift comes at a high price, for her personal and love life have suffered in consequence. Because she drew the shadow portrait of the man she loved and saw herself committing an unspeakable crime, she has left that man and moved from Paris to New York, where she has lived for the past five years. She has made a living in New York drawing shadow portraits for the rich at society parties, but when one of those portraits triggers a tragedy in high circles, Delphine comes to re-evaluate her psychic powers and how she earns a living.
I requested a galley of The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose because I read The Book of Lost Fragrances by the same author and really liked it. This novel has two parallel storylines; one is set in 1925 (the present) and another, told from the perspective of journal entries, set in 1920, the time when Delphine had a love affair that changed her life in meaningful ways.
I liked the storyline focusing on the present, Delphine’s psychic gifts, and the consequences of her actions more than I did the romance. I think if the book had focused purely on the present time it would have been much more successful, even great, but I found Delphine’s pining for her lost love so annoying that I almost felt that I wouldn’t continue reading if the book didn’t improve, fortunately it did after the second half as a new subplot was introduced, which made the book more interesting than the first half.
Disclaimer: I received from the publisher a free e-galley of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.