May 2017 Book of the Month.
A rather beautiful and entirely captivating tale, set in several time periods, framing passion, deception, love and loss. In the 1600’s artist Sara channels her despair at the death of her daughter, in 1958 the painting ‘At the Edge of a Wood’ is stolen, and in 2000 the various strands all start to finally flow together, will they form a network of answers? Dominic Smith writes so compassionately, yet he quite literally paints with his words, at times shaping them with hammer hard blows. The intimacy of emotions felt, creates a connection between the three time spans, while the painting exists within touching distance yet somehow outside of time. ‘The Last Painting of Sara de Vos’ is a deeply moving tale, using an intriguing gap in history to paint a vividly striking picture, and I can thoroughly recommend it. ~ Liz Robinson
In the 1600s Sara de Vos loses her young daughter suddenly to illness. In her grief, she secretly begins painting a dark landscape of a girl watching a group of ice skaters from the edge of a wood. In 1950s New York, Martijn de Groot has At the Edge of a Wood hanging above his bed. Though it is a dark, peculiar painting, he holds it dear and when it is stolen, he is bereft. In Brooklyn, struggling art student Ellie Shipley accepts a commission to paint an intricate forgery of the painting, not realising that her decision will come to haunt her successful academic career. Gorgeously written, brilliantly conceived and executed, filled with tension and revelation, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is one of those rare books that stops time as you read it. This is a novel you will want to revisit for the sheer pleasure of watching a master at work.
'Fiendishly clever and beautifully written.' The Times
'Smith has pulled off something authentic: a complex novel, full of painterly description, that slides between centuries with surprising fluidity.' Sunday Telegraph
'An elegant page-turner that carries its erudition effortlessly on an energetic plot.' New York Times Book Review
'The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is a deeply researched, beautifully written, intellectually absorbing novel that also has the qualities of a page-turner...a tremendous story of art, deception, love, ambition and the place of women in the world, and in history. From the opening pages you know you are in the hands of a writer at the top of his game.' The Australian
'Written in prose so clear that we absorb its images as if by mind meld, The Last Painting is gorgeous storytelling: wry, playful, and utterly alive...it's fiction that keeps you up at night - first because you're barrelling through the book, then because you've slowed your pace to a crawl, savouring the suspense.' Boston Globe
Publication date: 04/05/2017
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
|Publication date:||4th May 2017|
|Publisher:||Allen & Unwin|
|Genres:||Books of the Month, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Dominic Smith holds an MFA from the University of Texas, Austin. His short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and various other awards. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, such as The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author of three previous novels: The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre, The Beautiful Miscellaneous and Bright and Distant Shores.More About Dominic Smith