This forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas is about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro; the Father of Impressionism.
Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel's salvation is their maid Adelle's belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle's daughter. But Rachel's life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father's business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Fréderick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.
Why we love it: Alice Hoffman’s strong female characters lead the way in a magical novel about love, destiny and breaking the rules. Rachel does as she pleases, befriending her African cook’s daughter, talking to ghosts and watching the turtles lay their eggs on the beach in the middle of the night. The Marriage of Opposites is a mesmerising story that immerses you in another time and place, so that you won’t want this novel to end.
from the Team at Better Reading