Synopses & Reviews
A novel of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas's great romance from the New York Times
bestselling author of My Name Is Mary Sutter
The young Mary Cassatt never thought moving to Paris after the Civil War to be an artist was going to be easy, but when, after a decade of work, her submission to the Paris Salon is rejected, Mary's fierce determination wavers. Her father is begging her to return to Philadelphia to find a husband before it is too late, her sister Lydia is falling mysteriously ill, and worse, Mary is beginning to doubt herself. Then one evening a friend introduces her to Edgar Degas and her life changes forever. Years later she will learn that he had begged for the introduction, but in that moment their meeting seems a miracle. So begins the defining period of her life and the most tempestuous of relationships.
In I Always Loved You, Robin Oliveira brilliantly re-creates the irresistible world of Belle Époque Paris, writing with grace and uncommon insight into the passion and foibles of the human heart.
"In her second novel, Oliveira (My Name Is Mary Sutter) expertly draws us into the life of another famous Mary this time in 1877 Paris, where a revolution is underway in the art world, as a few renegade painters snub (and are snubbed by) the juried exhibitions at the Paris Salon, which were then organized by the Académie des Beaux-Arts. American painter Mary Cassatt has just moved to the City of Light, not to fall in love, but to pursue her dream of becoming an artist, and she longs to get the academy's stamp of approval. But a chance meeting with Edgar Degas, one of the leading impressionist-era rebels, changes the course of her career and life. Though it's never been proven that the two painters were lovers, Oliveira explores the next 40 turbulent years of their relationship, and what might have been, crafting a tale of inspiration, desire, and restraint between two great artists of the 19th century." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"In smart and supple prose....Oliveira's lively work illuminates these ambitious artists and rings true in the way the best fiction can." The Seattle Times
"[This] book is accomplished and well-researched....Although sometimes [Degas and Cassatt] are completely alienated, they remain linked through their art and love." Kirkus
"[Oliveira]'s illuminating portrayals of the inner lives of artists — Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot and Édouard Manet — are beautifully colored and as richly detailed as the paintings for which they are celebrated." The Chicago Tribune
"Oliveira has woven a rich tapestry of the artists's life in Belle Époque Paris, in a close, intimate rendering." Library Journal
"Emulating the powers of observation and expression possessed by the artists she so vividly and sensitively fictionalizes, Oliveira illuminates with piercing insight the churning psyches of her living-on-the-edge characters. This is a historically an aesthetically rich, complexly involving, and forthrightly sorrowful novel of the perilous, exhilarating, and world-changing lives of visionary artists breaking new ground and each other's hearts." Booklist
About the Author
Robin Oliveira is the New York Times bestselling author of My Name Is Mary Sutter. She holds a BA in Russian and studied at the Pushkin Language Institute in Moscow. She received an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is also a registered nurse, specializing in critical care. She lives in Seattle, Washington.