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The Last Van Gogh

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The Last Van Gogh Cover

ISBN13: 9780425212677
ISBN10: 042521267x
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A love story that explores the bonds between patient and doctor, painter and muse.

Summer, 1890. Van Gogh arrives at Auvers-sur-Oise, a bucolic French village that lures city artists to the country. It is here that twenty-year-old Maurguerite Gachet has grown up, attending to her father and brother ever since her mother's death. And it is here that Vincent Van Gogh will spend his last summer, under the care of Doctor Gachet — homeopathic doctor, dilettante painter, and collector. In these last days of his life, Van Gogh will create over 70 paintings, two of them portraits of Marguerite Gachet. But little does he know that, while capturing Marguerite and her garden on canvas, he will also capture her heart.

Both a love story and historical novel, The Last Van Gogh recreates the final months of Vincent's life — and the tragic relationship between a young girl brimming with hope and an artist teetering on despair.

Review:

"Richman (The Mask Carver's Son; Swedish Tango) speculates in her third novel that Vincent Van Gogh found his muse in the 21-year-old daughter of his last doctor. Marguerite Gachet, accustomed to her father's revolving door of artist patients (Cezanne, Pissarro, Bernard among them), finds herself enamored of the disheveled Van Gogh ('a rare blend of vulnerability and bravado') shortly after his arrival at her father's home in Auvers, where Van Gogh undergoes treatment for his manifold illnesses. Though Marguerite is little more than a servant to her father, a failed painter turned physician who prides himself to an absurd extent on his art collection, she manages, with the help of her cloistered half-sister, to begin a covert flirtation with Van Gogh. Between sitting — thrice — for Van Gogh and carrying on her household duties, Marguerite uncovers a family secret and has a clandestine rendezvous with the painter. Though Marguerite's frustrated love is carefully rendered, other characters are mostly memorable for their quirks (her father, the failed painter; her brother, the goofy sycophant; her half-sister, the gold-hearted sage). The climax may be a bit breathless, but, then again, Van Gogh isn't remembered for his subtlety. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Richman captures the flavor of the period and the nature of her characters in a story that will appeal to many." Booklist

Review:

"Despite Richman's talent with visual detail, nothing new about van Gogh is illuminated, and wan Marguerite never comes fully to life." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

Both a love story and a historical novel, The Last Van Gogh re-creates the final months of Vincent's life and the tragic relationship between a young girl brimming with hope and an artist teetering on despair.

Synopsis:

1890. Yamamoto Kiyoki is a Japanese art student, dreaming of studying in Paris with the inspiring and vibrant Impressionist painters.

Yamamoto Ryusei is Kiyokiand#8217;s father. Ryuseiand#8217;s art, carving intricate masks for traditional Japanese theater, has been his refuge from loneliness since the death of his beloved wife, and he is revered as the most inspired artist of his kind. He expects his only son to honor the traditions of his family and his country, not to be seduced by Western ideas of what is beautiful. Ryusei hopes Kiyoki will follow his own distinguished career, creating masks that will become the familyand#8217;s crowning achievement.

But what is a father to do when his sonand#8217;s path is not what he had planned? And how can a son honor his father, and yet fulfill his own destiny?

READERS GUIDE INSIDE

Synopsis:

Summer, 1890. Van Gogh arrives at Auvers-sur-Oise, a bucolic French village that lures city artists to the country. It is here that twenty-year-old Maurguerite Gachet has grown up, attending to her father and brother ever since her mother's death. And it is here that Vincent Van Gogh will spend his last summer, under the care of Doctor Gachet - homeopathic doctor, dilettante painter, and collector. In these last days of his life, Van Gogh will create over 70 paintings, two of them portraits of Marguerite Gachet. But little does he know that, while capturing Marguerite and her garden on canvas, he will also capture her heart.

Both a love story and historical novel, The Last Van Gogh recreates the final months of Vincent's life - and the tragic relationship between a young girl brimming with hope and an artist teetering on despair.

About the Author

Alyson Richman graduated from Wellesley College in 1994. She lives with her husband and son.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

katknit, June 27, 2009 (view all comments by katknit)
Marguerite is 21 when Vincent Van Gogh arrives at her father’s door for medical/psychological treatment. Dr. Gachet practices from his home, so Marguerite has ample opportunity to interact with the artist. She is drawn to Vincent, who is enormously talented but emotionally fragile, and in a very short time, they fall in love, in spite of the disapproval of her father and brother. Their romance is the pivot around which this novel revolves.

What works best in this story is the depiction of the plight of women around the turn of the twentieth century. Dr. Gachet, as portrayed here, is an incredibly selfish man with questionable personal and professional ethics. The life of Marguerite, as well as those of her father’s mistress and illegitimate daughter, are under his absolute control, which he wields with chilling disregard for their own preferences or ambitions. He cultivates artists as patients because it gives him access to their paintings, which he covets and accepts as payment. He makes liberal use of homemade herbal tinctures with limited understanding their pharmacology.

What does not work particularly well is the author’s characterization of Vincent, who in this book serves as the catalyst for Marguerite’s story and not as a fully developed protagonist. His tragic struggle with depression is described rather than shown, and he comes across as more ghostly than vibrant in the scenes in which he is physically present.

The Last Van Gogh is a bittersweet love story, but those wishing to know more about the artist will find little of value here.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780425212677
Author:
Richman, Alyson
Publisher:
Berkley Publishing Group
Subject:
General
Subject:
Gogh, Vincent van
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20061031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
includes a teaser for THE LOST WIFE; inc
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.26x6.46x.90 in. .62 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction

The Last Van Gogh New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.00 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Berkley Publishing Group - English 9780425212677 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Richman (The Mask Carver's Son; Swedish Tango) speculates in her third novel that Vincent Van Gogh found his muse in the 21-year-old daughter of his last doctor. Marguerite Gachet, accustomed to her father's revolving door of artist patients (Cezanne, Pissarro, Bernard among them), finds herself enamored of the disheveled Van Gogh ('a rare blend of vulnerability and bravado') shortly after his arrival at her father's home in Auvers, where Van Gogh undergoes treatment for his manifold illnesses. Though Marguerite is little more than a servant to her father, a failed painter turned physician who prides himself to an absurd extent on his art collection, she manages, with the help of her cloistered half-sister, to begin a covert flirtation with Van Gogh. Between sitting — thrice — for Van Gogh and carrying on her household duties, Marguerite uncovers a family secret and has a clandestine rendezvous with the painter. Though Marguerite's frustrated love is carefully rendered, other characters are mostly memorable for their quirks (her father, the failed painter; her brother, the goofy sycophant; her half-sister, the gold-hearted sage). The climax may be a bit breathless, but, then again, Van Gogh isn't remembered for his subtlety. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Richman captures the flavor of the period and the nature of her characters in a story that will appeal to many."
"Review" by , "Despite Richman's talent with visual detail, nothing new about van Gogh is illuminated, and wan Marguerite never comes fully to life."
"Synopsis" by , Both a love story and a historical novel, The Last Van Gogh re-creates the final months of Vincent's life and the tragic relationship between a young girl brimming with hope and an artist teetering on despair.
"Synopsis" by ,
1890. Yamamoto Kiyoki is a Japanese art student, dreaming of studying in Paris with the inspiring and vibrant Impressionist painters.

Yamamoto Ryusei is Kiyokiand#8217;s father. Ryuseiand#8217;s art, carving intricate masks for traditional Japanese theater, has been his refuge from loneliness since the death of his beloved wife, and he is revered as the most inspired artist of his kind. He expects his only son to honor the traditions of his family and his country, not to be seduced by Western ideas of what is beautiful. Ryusei hopes Kiyoki will follow his own distinguished career, creating masks that will become the familyand#8217;s crowning achievement.

But what is a father to do when his sonand#8217;s path is not what he had planned? And how can a son honor his father, and yet fulfill his own destiny?

READERS GUIDE INSIDE

"Synopsis" by ,
Summer, 1890. Van Gogh arrives at Auvers-sur-Oise, a bucolic French village that lures city artists to the country. It is here that twenty-year-old Maurguerite Gachet has grown up, attending to her father and brother ever since her mother's death. And it is here that Vincent Van Gogh will spend his last summer, under the care of Doctor Gachet - homeopathic doctor, dilettante painter, and collector. In these last days of his life, Van Gogh will create over 70 paintings, two of them portraits of Marguerite Gachet. But little does he know that, while capturing Marguerite and her garden on canvas, he will also capture her heart.

Both a love story and historical novel, The Last Van Gogh recreates the final months of Vincent's life - and the tragic relationship between a young girl brimming with hope and an artist teetering on despair.

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