The Witch Of Painted Sorrows | Review

The Witch Of Painted Sorrows | M.J Rose
Pages: 384
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Gothic, Fantasy . . .
Published: March 17, 2015 | Atria Books
Format: E-ARC
Source: Inkslinger PR
Rating:



Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. The following opinion is my own, & will not be affected by this.

As humans, we all know there's a big difference between loving something or someone, and being in love with that something or someone. Often times people blur the lines of both emotions, but not I. Whether it's in real life, or within this book community, I know that while one brings me great joy, the other rattles my bones, flushes my cheeks, and will have me on cloud 9 until I wish to come down. So when it comes to The Witch Of Painted Sorrows . . . 

People, I am in love.

Beautiful Nightmare


Don't become like me. Don't light any fires . . . too easily the flames leap out and lick you.

I adore Adult Fiction, but I will admit -- I've been neglecting the genre. Not intentionally or anything, but for some reason I've been reading more YA & NA than anything. Thank goodness at the last minute I was able to review this novel, because this is most definitely a story you can NOT pass up.

The Witch Of Painted Sorrows, is one of the most incredibly written books I've read in all of my blogging career. It's written in a fairy-tale like manner, blending fact with fiction so magically, you'll question your own mental state in determining what was real and fake. We jump right into the story alongside our main character, Mademoiselle Sandrine Verlaine. In an attempt to discreetly leave her awful husband, she flees to Paris, France to reside with her grand-mere, with great hope she'll be kept safe. Things take an interesting turn, when we discover that Sandrine's grand-mere doesn't want her in Paris. She's quick to convince Sandrine to return back to the states to her husband, in fear that she'll fall victim to both the power and passion that the city holds. But it's not only Paris her grand-mere is afraid of.

The story switches gears, and as we begin to plummet into the darkness of La Lune, I couldn't help but to hold on for dear life.

Shall we dance, dear La Lune?


And as I drew, I heard words . . . her ruby-red words flowing . . . flowing like blood . . . as she whispered to me. I understood the words, but not their meaning, but I used them as part of the composition, weaving each letter of each word into her long curls, into the fabric of her elaborate skirt. Finally to love. Finally to end the pain. Finally to find the secrets of my soul.

I believe in spirits. I also believe that older homes, house the spirits of those who used to occupy it. As I moved deeper into the story, and began dusting off the secrets of the Maison De La Lune, (grand-mere's house) and Sandrine's ancestry, it was no surprise that I found myself completely fascinated by the witch's character. The creep factor was cranked up high, as Sandrine began to be possessed by the firery La Lune. Once a frail, frigid woman, she now was a lively character, filled with confidence, passion, and even lust for a man, although betrothed to another woman. This very possession allowed her to take risks -- to find herself -- to know what it means to love with your very soul . . .

but when the darkness of La Lune slowly took over Sandrine's innocence, it wasn't long before we knew who she was up against, and how this spirit would stop at nothing to get what she wanted . . .

Make of a powder, life everlasting . . .


When I went a day without him, I felt actual pain, like hunger pangs you suffer when you've gone too long without food. While this kind of feeling was new and marvelous, it was terrifying to be in it's grip.

I'm such a contemporary junkie -- especially one that enjoys a great romance no matter the genre, and because of this, I CRAVED Sandrine and Julien's relationship. Yes it was a bit scandalous, (who doesn't like a great scandal?) but the fire between these two were inextinguishable -- the passion undeniable. I felt like a little kid reading their scenes . . . eyes wide -- mouth open, giddy because I knew why Sandrine was hungry for this love, and even though it was wrong, and also kind of weird, it felt perfectly right. The amateur level of swoon in the YA & NA novels I've been reading, couldn't hold a candle to what I experienced with these two characters. No offense.

This book opened my eyes to the very realization -- I've been missing the beauty that comes with novels like this. The Witch Of Painted Sorrows consisted of writing so rich, flawless, and impeccably executed. An engrossing storyline/plot with subtle twists that still left you on the edge of your seat. Gripping characters, two of whom ignited an explosive romance, and one who created the darkness for this story, raising a few hairs on my arms.

If you ask me for a recommendation . . .

The Witch Of Painted Sorrows will be my answer every time.