review by Maryom
Ella Graham is a portrait painter. The way to achieve a stunning likeness in which the character of the subject shines through, she believes, is to get to know them. As she paints, she chats with her sitters and they maybe reveal more than they'd expected to. When her younger newly-engaged sister Chloe asks her to paint fiancé Nate, Ella is dismayed. The little she knows of him is not good, will her opinion change as she gets to know him better? How much of her attitude will be revealed in the portrait? Further turmoil is created for Ells when the father she believed to have abandoned her as a child tries to make contact. As the date for Chloe and Nate's wedding rapidly approaches, should Ella reveal the home-truths she's learned or keep them a secret for everyone's good?
The Very Picture Of You is a gentle romantic story of two sisters and the man who might drive them apart. This plot line is to be honest a little on the predictable side and I actually found myself more engrossed in the emerging family history than in Ella and Nate's changing relationship. The star of the novel is surely Ella's mother - her ability to ignore anything she doesn't wish to talk about and manipulate facts to suit her purpose, make her a middle-class Machiavellian monster. For years she's managed to mislead everyone, including her husband and daughters, but the truth is about to be revealed.
A good 'holiday read' for any fans of romantic fiction.
Maryom's review - 3.5 stars
Publisher - HarperCollins
Genre - Adult, romantic fiction
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