Monday, June 6, 2016

The Blue Bath

The Blue Bath
by Mary Waters- Sayer
Published: St. Martin's Press
May 3, 2016

First, I want to thank NetGalley, Mary Waters-Sayer and St. Martin's Press for this beautiful read in exchange for an honest review.  I was drawn to this book by that gorgeous cover.  I got lost in the book by it's artistic prose about the meager starving artist beginning for Daniel and Kat paired with the later mystery and intrigue taking place in the high finance London art world.

My Review:
I think this is a fantastic first book my Mary Waters-Sayer.  There were things that I absolutely loved about it.  For one, the premise of the story flashing back from Kat's unexpected reignited affair with Daniel in London to her 19 year old romantic tryst with him in his small Paris loft/art studio when he was a starving artist.  It was done in such an artfully sensual way.  Secondly, the end was filled with mystery bordering on a psychological thriller, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Daniel was actually pretty mysterious throughout the book.  We never really got to know his character even though he was central to the story.  That added intrigue for me.  

On the down side, it was hard to believe Kat's professed "true love" for him because I felt like she really knew nothing about Daniel.  There was no friendship or multiple levels of relationship in this magnetic attraction - just love in Kat's words, or lust in mine?  It was sometimes a typical starving artist / innocent college girl story.  What was not typical was Mary's beautifully descriptive phrases which made me stop and think several times.  "A fine mist of rain was falling around her, obscuring the red brick buildings, blurring their hard edges so that they dissolved into pavement, melting into their own reflections on the slick streets."  Yes, there are a lot of rainy days in London, and that was quite a poetic description of them.  Other times it was too much, like a full paragraph description, though beautifully worded, for a small aside of a hung over roommate removing her necklace. 

I'm very glad I read The Blue Bath.  It is not my typical read, but it stuck with me, which is a true measure of a good book for me.   

They Summary by Goodreads:
Kat Lind, an American expatriate living in London with her entrepreneur husband and their young son, attends an opening at a prestigious Mayfair art gallery and is astonished to find her own face on the walls. The portraits are evidence of a long-ago love affair with the artist, Daniel Blake. Unbeknownst to her, he has continued to paint her ever since. Kat is seduced by her reflection on canvas and when Daniel appears in London, she finds herself drawn back into the sins and solace of a past that suddenly no longer seems so far away.

When the portraits catch the attention of the public, threatening to reveal not only her identity, but all that lies beyond the edges of the canvases, Kat comes face to face with the true price of their beauty and with all that she now could lose.

Moving between the glamour of the London art world and the sensuous days of a love affair in a dusty Paris studio, life and art bleed together as Daniel and Kat's lives spin out of control, leading to a conclusion that is anything but inevitable.

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