This is a good Read. It takes us back in time to Amsterdam in the 17th century. Holland is in the grip of ‘Tulip Fever’ when tulip bulbs were exchanged for huge sums of money and fortunes won and lost on this rather bizarre craze. But our focus, at least to begin with, is on Sophia a young wife married to a much older husband who is about to have her portrait painted.
Bored and unhappy married to a man more than 30 years her senior she throws caution to the wind and embarks on a love affair with the artist employed to paint her. Her only confidant is her maid who is a sympathetic ear (at least to begin with!) as she too is in love and willing to help her mistress pursue romance. But how will it end?! If Sophia is discovered her reputation would be ruined and although she does not love her husband she relies on his good opinion and generosity to support her impoverished family. Has she really found true love with her artist or just lust? Will her servant keep her secret? Will the lovers have a happy ever after or be disgraced by their reckless passion? You’ll have to read it to find out!
There are plenty of twisted and turns to keep the reader engaged and a good dose of humour along with more serious moments. I really liked the way Moggach moves the reader’s sympathy this way and that – I think we pity Sophia one moment as she is trapped in a marriage (and marriage bed!) with a man more than twice her age and longs for love and passion and fun with someone her own age. Next we sympathise with her husband who is kind, loving and trusting – if lacking awareness as to how his wife might feel – he has a kind of oblivious vanity in assuming his wife is satisfied with him but is basically a good soul and doesn’t deserve what is coming to him…
A good light-hearted read ideal for a holiday or commute.
Like the sound of it? Borrow this book from Brent Libraries