nineteenth / twenty first centuries
Dublin, Ukraine, Vienna, London
At an public sale, Daisy and Ben uncover that they personal work that look like actual duplicates. One is signed, the opposite will not be. Curiously, Daisy seems one thing like the girl within the portray. This units them on a search to seek out out why two copies have been made from the identical portray and if each are genuine.
The sooner a part of the story begins with a household of Russian Jews. Two sisters, Rosa and Lena, are involved about their future marriages. In the future, when Rosa goes to the riverbank to do laundry, she is assaulted by a Russian soldier, and saved from sure rape by her beloved fiancé, Isaac. Lovely Lena doesn’t need to marry the person her mother and father have chosen for her, and convinces Isaac that he could be unwise to marry her sister, who may be carrying the kid of a Russian soldier. Isaac is captivated and chooses her, leaving type Rosa damaged hearted.
Someday into the wedding, Isaac decides to have his spouse’s portrait painted. Solely the artist is aware of the key of the 2 work and he’s lengthy gone. In the meantime, again in Eire, the 2 novice sleuths are getting solutions which result in different questions and on the identical time coming to understand that their current companions will not be very passable and getting chummy with one another.
The lives of unusual Jews in Russia at the moment, the way in which they handled marriage, divorce and the taint of scandal, have been elements of the story that the writer wove in with finesse. And the story itself was intriguing, within the sense of – I can’t wait to seek out out what occurs subsequent. Because the Dublin pair globe-trot to Vienna and London, leads are revealed to them in a well timed trend, in order that nothing is given away till the climax when the key is revealed … (no spoilers!)
Characters are splendidly drawn with very human frailties and strengths that shine, significantly the Jews, and the pages are stuffed with emotion that stored me desirous to learn extra proper to the very passable ending.
There may be one little blemish I have to add. It was an enormous coincidence that each work have been in the identical public sale on the identical day, and that their homeowners have been a younger male and a younger feminine, each in unsatisfactory relationships. All very comprehensible within the creation of the plot. Acknowledging this by no means spoilt my enjoyment of this completely engrossing story, and I extremely advocate it.
(The e-book is a steal on the pricc, however perhaps the quilt, whereas properly designed, doesn’t do it justice?)
Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds
© Susan Appleyard