One of the things I love most is settling down with a new book and a cup of tea. On the last visit we made to my parents I raided Mum's bookshelves and borrowed The Painter by Will Davenport. I finished last night so here are a few thoughts on the book (without spoiling the story).
1) The book uses the popular parallel plot format - one based in 1662, the other in 2001. The 1662 one is about Rembrandt who stows away on a ship, ends up in Hull and is drawn into a contest of arts with the poet Andrew Marvell - the prize being the ship captain's beautiful wife (Amelia Dahl). I thought this plot was reasonably intriguing and clever. The 2001 plot works less well in my opinion. It focuses on artist Amy Dale who is a descendant of Amelia Dahl's. She gets a job in helping to restore the captain's house and happens to find Amelia's journals from 1662 detailing her encounter with Rembrandt. There is also a minor plot involving some of the builders working on the project which I found it hard to care about and easy to predict.
2) I found Amy an unconvincing character. A lot is made of her attractiveness and Davenport seemed too concerned with making her seem unique and unusual to make her someone the reader could identify with.
3) Overall The Painter was a reasonably engaging read but certainly not high quality literature and it wouldn't be one I'd go out of my way to recommend to a friend.
I'll be writting about some more books in the future and the reviews certainly won't all be this negative - I just thought I'd give it a go as I'd just finished a book.