Counterpoint At Eighteen Dylan Rutledge Has One Obsession Music He Believes His Destiny Is To Be The Greatest Composer Of The Rapidly Approaching Twentieth Century Only Laurence Northcliff, A Young History Master At The Venerable Bede School For Young Gentlemen, Believes In Dylan S Talent And Encourages His Dream, Not Realizing Dylan Is In Love With Him But Dylan S Passion And Belief In His Future Come At A High Price They Will Alienate Him From His Family And Lead Him On A Rocky Path Fraught With Disappointment, Rejection, And Devastating Loss That Kills His Dream A Forbidden Love Could Bring The Dream Back To Life And Rescue Dylan From Despair And Bitterness, But Does He Have The Courage To Reach Out And Take It Will He Deny The Music That Rules His Soul

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[PDF / Epub] ★ Counterpoint  By Ruth Sims –
  • Paperback
  • 332 pages
  • Counterpoint
  • Ruth Sims
  • English
  • 24 December 2018

10 thoughts on “Counterpoint

  1. says:

    Following Dylan s story is a journey that will require patience at first, but as Dylan grows and finds love you begin to connect to him intimately You will follow him through failure, loss and grief, certain that your heart will break while sobbing and blinking the tears from your eyes so you can keep reading.You will also cheer for Dylan as he begins to let himself live again and finds love once when he least expects it But love is never easy, and there are outside forces that will try to take away everything Dylan cares about Dylan refuses to give up and we follow him and his lover to their ultimate triumph Just reading the last paragraph of this story brought the tears again.When you are able to step back after finishing this powerful story, you realize you ve put yourself in the hands of a master And her name is Ruth Sims.

  2. says:

    As many of you know I m a fan of m m historical romance so this book by Ruth Sims was very appealing It s not your typical romance, although it contains two romantic story lines, because it breaks some romantic conventions something I think some readers may not like Instead it s a Victorian set drama about the creative life and frustrations of Dylan.We first meet Dylan as a pupil at St Bede s where his inattentiveness in lessons and his compulsion to do nothing but compose music does not endear him to his tutors, especially when his compositions do not fit into musical canon After an incident with a stolen key, Dylan is sent home in disgrace only to be brought back when the music teacher has an accident One condition of Dylan being brought back to St Bede s is that he has extra lessons to make up for his poor results overall His tutor is Lawrence, who sees that Dylan is ahead of his time with his music and offers him quiet support along with the tuition When Lawrence realises that Dylan has fallen in love with him, and that he has feelings for Dylan too, Lawrence decides to leave St Bede s and move to Paris, only to meet Dylan there when the young man is taking his Grand Tour.There s was much to like about this story and hands down my favourite part was the way that the frustrations and difficulties of Dylan and his music was portrayed I m not a huge fan of classical music but this is Dylan s passion and that shines through the plot of the story He s musically ahead of his time and as a result encounters nothing but indifference, criticism and downright contempt for what he is trying to do The story is set in the late 1800 s and maybe if Dylan had been composing 30 40 years on, then he would have had significant acclaim for his work I liked that there is some comparison with what Dylan is doing and the Impressionist painters who were also reviled for the new techniques they were using in art Dylan begins the story as a hot headed and arrogant young man, certain that he is going to set the musical world on fire, and part of his development as a character is coming to terms with the fact that no one understands what he is trying to do By the end he is still hot headed and sure of his talent, but resigned and mature He spends a great deal of the book seething with frustration at the actions of others, and the way he is constantly blocked or prevented from doing what he feels is musically the best thing The innate snobbery of the musical world also comes across strongly, and again leads to Dylan bashing heads with those who could possibly further his career.In many ways I admired the tenacity of Dylan and his unwillingness to conform to what society and the musical world expected of him However, he s also very flawed as a character because in some ways he s just as blinkered as those who can t or won t understand his music At times his arrogance and self centred attitude were not not most endearing qualities and his obliviousness to the opinions and feelings of others made him difficult to like on occasion This is where the character of Lawrence was so successful He balanced and soothed Dylan s brashness Lawrence is a loyal supporter of Dylan and loves him despite his flaws but he also isn t afraid to gently steer Dylan in the right direction when needed I liked Lawrence a great deal and he came across as caring and loving without being a pushover.The story is divided into two parts, with part one ending with a shocking event which brought me to tears It s a different Dylan who emerges from this event He s less self centred and most of his frustrations are based on trying to get the musical world to accept a talented violinist, Geoffrey, who was born a Romany gypsy and therefore looked down on with disgust by society The character of Geoffrey gets a lot of page space towards the end of the book and I found him to be an interesting character He s a much generous person than Dylan, caring and affectionate but he s also fatalistic and at times very naive Despite this, I liked Geoffrey and was glad at the way things worked out for him.One thing to say about this book is that it certainly puts you through the emotional wringer There were times when I wasn t sure I could continue as time and time again things went badly for the characters It s to the author s credit that the story never tipped into melodrama, mainly because the story is so firmly grounded in the time period and therefore felt realistic It all works out for Dylan at the end and I was left feeling happy for him and optimistic that things would continue to improve.Overall this historical has a strong sense of setting Paris in particular was depicted with loving care flawed but realistic characters an unusual musical theme and a story which takes you on a number of highs and lows I greatly enjoyed it and was so engrossed I could hardly bear to put it down I m highly recommend Counterpoint Dylan s Story to all fans of historical romance.

  3. says:

    Ruth Sims is a great author I can say that unequivocally and as a huge fan When I read The Phoenix, I was blown away by the beauty and sensuality of that book Sims does it again with another stunning story that rides a wave of emotion from tears, laughter, beauty, frustration, and obsession At one point I threw my ereader gently onto the couch in frustration then hurried to pick it up and continue reading Although a wonderfully written historical, the themes and emotion transcend the time period to something all readers can enjoy Dylan Rutledge is a composer Even from a young age music has dominated the young man s life and become a harsh taskmaster His irrepressible personality and behavior do no favors as he struggles in the tightly controlled society of family, education, and hierarchy of England in the late 1800s Although eventually graduating school with some difficulty, Dylan breaks from the support and comfort of family to pursue success and love in Paris Unfortunately while finding love with ex school master Laurence, Dylan s road to musical fame is littered with obstacles From London to Paris and back, Dylan s life is an incredibly journey in love, loss, pain, hardship, and perseverance In many ways this tightly plotted, well written story reminds me of historical biographies of great artists Tortured, obsessive, painful, and redeeming, Dylan Rutledge s fictional existence fits well with such tales of hardship and genius The third person narrative follows Dylan through his life as he meets the first and then second loves of his life, encounters great bigotry and frustration as a composer ahead of his time, and displays all the eccentricities expected of brilliance with a touch of insanity There is a lot of action but it is very character dependant and the characterization is truly inspired Dylan is clearly the star, and loves to be so His personality is complex, difficult, stubborn, antagonistic, brilliant, frustrating, heart breaking and beautiful all at once He is a great example of a wonderfully flawed hero His characterization is nuanced, subtle, bold, and engrossing You simply can t stop wondering and thinking about him long after the story ends His journey however is touched by a cast of equally eye catching men and women with no throw away characters Laurence is a beautiful foil for Dylan s intensity and wildness but he is never empty and stands well on his own Together it makes for a lovely romance but not to be denied are Ivy, Schonnie and Geoffrey These characters make for a totally absorbing reading experience where the personalities feel honest, real, and important You want to know about them and how they survive and react The themes of friendship, love, loss, tragedy, and redemption are folded into the story alongside great world building I d be surprised if any readers found fault with the historical setting and the wealth of detail afforded The time frame is never forgot, yet manages to produce a story with universal appeal and interest It may be historical and steeped deeply in that time period but it feels contemporary with the themes and engrossing nature There is no dry language, dull recitation of the time period that a lot of readers associate with historicals Instead the setting comes alive in the details, folded in with skill and timing There is so much emotion to the scenes that you simply can t stop reading Some of the best scenes and the most frustrating revolve around Geoffrey He s undoubtedly a fabulous character, the strong willed Gypsy yearning for his lost family and culture Yet at the same time I often wanted to crawl into the book and strangle him myself for his actions and refusal to protect himself The negative repercussions are well telegraphed and yet the scenes remain vivid, stark, harsh, and unforgettable That portion of the book made me want to cry and yell simultaneously It s wonderfully written with crisp, evocative prose and shows the real flaws of the characters Similarly, the scenes halfway through the book dealing with Dylan s depression not to give spoilers, the reason will make you cry These scenes delve into the dark areas of his life and heart without the story ever feeling depressing or heavy Instead it s a meaty read for those that want to sink their teeth into a great story with a roller coaster of emotions Another great aspect is the theme of music Dylan as a composer with Schonnie and Geoffrey as violinists create an atmosphere where you can almost hear the music being discussed Too often translating music through a story as an essential character is difficult and falls flat Here it succeeds remarkably well and becomes a living, breathing detail woven into almost every scene When the music stops for part of the story, its absence is stark and obvious It s almost as if the book and characters are missing something vital and important I could go on and on about the aspects I really enjoyed since this is a memorable and delightful read, but I won t bore readers I ll simply urge everyone to give this a chance, even if you re not a big historical fan It doesn t read like a historical even as numerous details are constantly offered to keep the time period alive and interesting There are parts of the book and Geoffrey especially that I wanted to slap but it wouldn t be the same story if they were changed I think the story is exactly what was intended down to my own anger and frustration Thankfully the pleasure in reading far outweighs the few book throwing moments.

  4. says:

    Dylan Rutledge is a headstrong teenager in an all boys English boarding school He is driven by a desire to compose music, and this passion is so powerful that it leads him to take bold risks He steals the cathedral key from the headmaster s office for a single opportunity to play the church organ He simply must hear his music played as he intended it to sound when he wrote it Dylan is obstinate and daring, and he cannot help but challenge the conservative establishment Sadly, this sort of behavior leads to his expulsion from the school.One of the school s instructors, Laurence Northcliff, is charmed by young Dylan He sees a talent in the aspiring artist that none of his other teachers seem willing to acknowledge He convinces the headmaster to reinstate Dylan at the school and agrees to be his tutor Unbeknownst to Laurence, Dylan begins to fall in love with his tutor When Dylan advances on Laurence with an unexpected kiss, Laurence panics and flees the school.It isn t until after Dylan s graduation that he reconnects with his former teacher in Paris Dylan, now an adult, is embarrassed by his earlier behavior, yet he once again finds himself smitten by Laurence The two begin seeing one another socially, and eventually a romance blossoms When Dylan elects to remain in Paris in order to pursue his study of music, his family disowns him His father learns of his relationship with Laurence and is disgraced Although the loss of his family is devastating to Dylan, his love for Laurence trumps all else They fall even deeper in love and build a life together where Laurence realizes enormous success as an author of fiction, and Dylan finally begins to make strides with his musical compositions.Suddenly tragedy strikes, and it appears that Dylan will lose everything All of the happiness he has thus far realized in his life is instantly swept away, and he must begin anew How will he ever find the strength to go on after losing everything Will his passion for music sustain him in his darkest hours Will he ever love again Ruth Sims has done it again She s written a masterpiece She has woven an epic love story into a painstakingly accurate historical depiction of nineteenth century English life This accuracy is evidenced by the minutiae of daily life which is presented in a beautiful, seamless manner, painting a vivid portrait of a truly remarkable era The story s central character, Dylan Rutledge, is a marvelously flawed and utterly human protagonist passionate, arrogant, impudent, and undeniably lovable Introduced as a rebellious teenager whose passion for music is so powerful that it s nearly all consuming, Dylan ultimately matures and evolves into a man who loves with an equally powerful fervency Like Job of the Bible, Dylan helplessly watches his entire world crumble before him, and he somehow manages to endure the unimaginable heartbreak He somehow finds the will to go on and eventually love again Ultimately it is he who must choose to redirect this love and place his faith in another His eternal love for Laurence remains within him, and it brings him full circle to a place where he assumes the role in another s life which Laurence once so perfectly demonstrated in Dylan s life.Ruth Sims is a marvelous storyteller Her prose is written beautifully, and her character development is executed superbly The villains are detestable, and the heroes are impossible not to love The intimate scenes are romantic and tasteful, and the feel of the novel is of such high literary quality that the same gender romance is inconsequential It is purely a love story, and that is all that matters.I felt that Ruth Sims had peaked when she released The Phoenix, and I feared that any subsequent work by her would pale in comparison I m thrilled to admit I was wrong Counterpoint is a must read, and it is sure to remain one of my all time favorite historical romances.

  5. says:

    I ve always been of the opinion that books should be pretty To probably misquote the Arts Crafts Movement, one should have nothing in one s house, that is not useful and decorative Counterpoint is beautifully laid out From the gorgeous cover by Alex Beecroft which clearly tells the story to the wonderful art nouveau font on the headings, this book looks good.But is it useful I.e It might look good, but is it well written In a word, yes This won t come as any surprise to those readers who have already read Ms Sims first book The Phoenix They as have I have been waiting a long time for this book, and the polite thing would be to say that the wait was worth it, but I m greedy and wouldn t complain if Ms Sims wrote a book a year This shows progression from the Phoenix there is a richer depth of emotion and characterisation, and the love affairs described are touching in a way that I never felt with the characters from the first novel.This is, as the title suggests, Dylan s story, and he stands firmly at the core of it all young, passionate, arrogant with a very firm belief in his talent and entirely obsessed with music, and with little care for anything else, whether it be rules, or family It s only the attempts of his family and friends that save him from ruining himself entirely, because if he had been allowed he would have run off and studied music right from the beginning of the book.It s a real coming of age story, not in a clich d way of I m homosexual and have to come to terms with it but the way that life forces Dylan to get to grips with his pride, overcome it at times, and compromise with other people, other artists At first he s all it s my way or nothing but gradually he learns to work with others, even if that sense of no, I m right, and they ll realise it one day never leaves him He sees something, and in his brash young, privileged manner he thinks everything, including love, will fall into his lap, and it s heartbreaking sometimes to see how he finds that life isn t like that.I think the blurb hints that there s real tragedy in this book, and so readers who can t bear anyone dying might need to check out whether they want to get invested in the story before starting But I liked it because life s like that, you don t always get to live with the person you love not forever, and this handles that very well I have to say that the forbidden love tag in the blurb confused me in that day and age, I couldn t see why one homosexual relationship was any forbidden than another.There are themes here that are echoed from The Phoenix, and I think I would have preferred something altogether different rather than another artisan who works hard to get to the top of his profession There s a top heavy amount of tragedy, too, which didn t put me off, as I m a lover of unremitting angst, but it would have been nice if we d been shown some of the lighter, sweeter moments in Dylan s life, especially with his relationship with Laurence Northcliff.It might sound like I m being super critical, but when a book is actually as good as this, there s little point me telling who how damned good But it is Sims prose is never too layered or dense that you get lost in run on sentences and too many adjectives she seems to have an instinct of exactly how much description to add to create an atmosphere, and when to let well enough alone and let the imagination take flight.She never becomes over technical, particularly when dealing with concepts such as the Gypsies or music, but neither does she dumb down relying instead on context to make her meaning crystal clear.As a rich and winding story of love, obsession, disappointment and talent it works beautifully, and anyone with an interest of the fin de si cle period of London and Paris will find it satisfying and intense Don t miss this one.

  6. says:

    1st draft Counterpoint Dylan s Story is a beautiful novel which I enjoyed in every manner, from cover to cover Superficially, a highly individualist teen lusts for his history teacher in a boys school in England, they eventually meet in Paris and become a couple Teacher is killed in a manner reminiscent of Pierre Curie s death Boy becomes despondent but eventually falls for a similar kid near his age and things work out, probably All are of course gorgeous and lustiferous, reinforced by the cover Sounds familiar, but that is not at all what the books is about I think it is primarily about creative obsession Or the obsession necessary to become a true artist, one of the greats It is a literary, historical fiction concerning being Gay in Edwardian England and Paris and about the music world of the time Names were reminiscent of many real people in the music world and I spent a lot of time looking up names of characters to check if they were indeed real This is telling about Sims characterization It is also about the contrast between a father son type romance and a romance between two creative forces And it is about dragging oneself out of the despair caused about the sudden loss of a lover And it is about the conflict caused by an upper middle class British kid falling for an Angloromani kid during the 19th century It is about sensuous beauty.This is a lot to cover in a relatively short novel, but I think the author carries it off I liked her style which flowed easily and was simply quite beautiful, almost muscial And the sex is understated which I thought appropriate to its themes Still I kept feeling, If only meaning it is sensuous enough for me to fall for the protagonists It s a novel I want to read again.Closely examine the cover, before and after reading the novel, it s telling I am still working oe figuring out what violin sonata is depicted, but my piano is surrounded by TBR mountains.

  7. says:

    Counterpoint is the musical relationship of melodic lines playing independently but forming a harmonic whole There couldn t be a fitting title for this book A story with many independent tales, but coming together in one grand finale It is very difficult to review this story due to it s complexity and length which is by no means a criticism but a complement as it stands out from the normal trope of m m stories Intricate, complex, intriguing, thought provoking and well balanced Just like a musical score itself.The main character in this story is Dylan a musical genius discovered very early while still in high school, but also obnoxious and arrogant It s about his life s trails and tribulations of becoming a recognised composer He has two loves in his life, Laurence a teacher at his college and Geoffrey a violin prodigy When Dylan first meets Laurence it is at college and due to Laurence seeing the talent in the rough diamond and taking him under his wing Over a nimber of years the relationship flourishes into an intense love The only way they could do this was due to several circumstances, of which i won t go into here, but they both end up living in Paris Here they lived out their dream and built a perfect home for themselves During this period Paris was the liberal city compared to Victorian London with it s conservative values Well, to put it delicately, they insulted each other s mother, father, ancestry, religion, and the state of his bowels You really need to learn French English is so hopelessly civilised The French can say the most divinely vile things and it sounds like poetry It is while being in France Dylan meets for the first time Geoffrey who is studying violin with Adler Schonberg who is a world renowned violin player He meets these two at a party hosted by Ivy an American with loads of money and a great sponsor of the arts Geoffrey is from Romanichel origin and has had a very different childhood to that of Dylan of which we learn about gradually during the book.Then a fatal accident means that Laurence is taken from Dylan and here I cried, no I m not ashamed to admit it, the writing was so beautiful I could feel the pain, anger, hurt and greaving that Dylan was going through However, this book is written in two parts which is a wonderful concept Ivy gets Dylan back on his feet and gradually starts to come to terms with Laurence s death He then decides to return to London Shutting one chapter on his life and starting a new one As the old saying goes, It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all TIME Dylan wondered how the pasing of something without form, sound or taste could so pervadeeverything TIME He wishes he knew how to beat it, kick it, take out his anger upon it Back in London Dylan is getting to grips with his life and everyday and he visits his friend Schonberg who is now ailing in health However, his understudy Geaoffrey takes care of his every need Schonberg wants Dylan to write a concerto for Geoffrey At the beginning the artistic animosity is there, but then grows it a rivalry and then into attraction Dylan finds himself in love again, but at the beginning it is difficult for him still to let completely go of Laurence s memory Schonberg s brother and sister in law come to visit and while they are there he dies This is their chance to get at Schonberg s money and concoct a plan which leaves Geoffrey going to jail Here the unfairness of it all was hideous Geoffrey due to his gypsy origins is treated like a second class citizen despite his talent and ends up doing hard labour Dylan does not give up trying to prove his innocence and calls upon an old school friend, Rob who is a barrister They manage to prove his innocence and Geoffrey is released.After all this, Dylan is still struggling to get recognition as a composer and in a moment of inspiration starts work on his breakthrough concerto, Prometheus He writes for Geoffrey to play but still has to convince the powers that be in the orchestra to let Geoffrey play it All s well that ends well and eventually due to some influential friends the concerto is played with Geoffrey as the soloist upon request of HRH The Princess of Wales and the deserved recognition is arrives.This book is incredibly multi facetted and I loved it on manyl levels First the time it was set in causing a whole set of problems that we don t even consider today Having to be totally secret about your relationship or when some people knew they really had be close and trusted friends Secondly ,the trials and tribulations of dealing with what life throws at you Dylan is heart broken after he loses Laurence, but he finds love again and realises that life must go on and never to give up Thirdly, Dylan never gives up in believing in himself as a composer He was sometimes tempestuous, arrogant, irritating and obnoxious, but his belief in himself and his tenacity against all odds and despite what people said he never gave up and in the end got the recognition he deserved Fourthly, I loved the character of Ivy, although a secondary character once she appeared on the scene she stayed a constant like a guardian angel, always supportive and always believing in Dylan This book introduces many characters, but they all have their significant role to play and contribute to the whole, just like the musical strucutre and theory of counterpoint.All in all an enthralling epic, that kept me riveted from beginning to end Packed full of emotion, trials and tribulations, but all coming together in one grand finale.All the way through this book I did have a constant earworm when reading about Geoffrey s violin playing and this was the violinist Joshua Bell playing the theme tune from the film Ladies in Lavender by Nigel Hess However, if I was to suggest a playlist while reading this book it would be this 1 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor2 Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major3 Sibelius Violin Concerto in D Minor4 Schumann Violin Concerto in D MinorLooks like I have thing going for German composers I guess Spot the odd one out lol

  8. says:

    Dylan s Counterpoint is a magnificent story of love, loss, struggle and music The trials and tribulations that Dylan and Geoffrey survive, each going through their own devastating pain and growth, are heart wrenching As a composer I definitely felt a connection to Dylan s character and the troubles he faced It is not so often that I m moved to tears by a novel and this one was certainly special Life is not easy in this story, but the characters portrayed by the author have a realness and vulnerability to them that swept me away I m definitely a fan of Ruth Sims work The plot is never quite what I think it will be and there are some lovely moments of poetic emotion that always catch me off guard I definitely recommend this work

  9. says:

    I have been a fan of Ms Sims since I read The Phoenix several years ago I can t say enough about this new book Counterpoint Dylan s Story is a beautiful love story from start to finish There s nothing I would improve and her characters will linger in my head for days I inhaled this first read, tearing throught it like glutton I plan to read it again, but this time, savoring every passage Her mastery of time and location, her word choices, the attention to detail, and the fierce love between her characters is palpable, and this is what makes this worthy of a five star rating I would recommend this book to anyone who loves historicals, but importantly, anyone who believes in love.

  10. says:

    Reviewed By BlackTulip for Booked UpThis story was such a roller coaster ride of emotions, that I don t know where to begin I was literally engulfed by the book and I had some difficulty trying to emerged from it As incredible as it sounds it left me nervously exhausted Unlike other books that very swiftly fade away, this one continues to haunt meThe thing that characterizes this novel is that it takes place over a long period of time thereby allowing the writer to take her time with her story At a slow pace you are able to connect with all the characters and become intimate with them.There are two wonderful and powerful love stories here It begins with Dylan, as a young boy falling in love with his teacher and tutor Laurence When Laurence disappears from Dylan s life some twelve years later, after a certain amount of time Dylan who is an older man at the time falls in love with a young violinist Geoffrey.It is Dylan s journey of discovery of life He has the arrogance of youth, he is very stubborn, impatient, and certain of so many things He lives only for his music and he is the despair of his family and teachers in general The only one that believes in him is Laurence Pursuing his dream will cost him dearly, he will lose everything that is precious to him family, security, and even Laurence for a time They lose sight of each other in England when Laurence resign from his position, but they find themselves together again by chance in Paris, free from the English law and able at last to love each other Because of the length of this book, we have the opportunity to see Dylan mature little by little We are able to share his frustration and disillusions He will not conform to what is expected of him This attitude at some point can be admired but at some other times it can be annoying and irritating as it closes many doors for him.Laurence is a wonderful character that acts as a counterbalance here and tries to smooth things over He loves without reserve, guiding, helping, and soothing They are intricately connected to each other by their passion and this passion feeds Dylan s music They have a rather uncomplicated love story but a very intense one.And then the unthinkable happens, but I will not elaborate here Time stands still for Dylan He has lost his fire, his passion, and his music there is only coldness, loneliness, emptiness nothingness He cannot live in Paris any and he decides to return home The Dylan that comes back to England is a different person Life has its own way of teaching us lessons that allows us to evolve, thank God for that Even after the worst there is still hope.Dylan will meet again with Maestro Schoenberg and his prot g Geoffrey, he briefly met them in Paris Geoffrey Dohnanyi has a Gypsy heritage and despite being extremely gifted, he is rejected by society It gives a goal to Dylan, make society accept Geoffrey s talent He is such an inspiration to him that Dylan against all odds seems to have found his way again with music.Geoffrey is a very affectionate and caring young man who comes into Dylan s life when he needed it, giving a new meaning to his life He has to let go of Laurence to get on with his life Thanks to Geoffrey, Dylan is able to hear his music again and to feel passion a second time.But fate strikes another time and the story takes another tragic turn Their lives and love are put to the test Once again there is tragedy and desperation but it will all end well.Ruth Sims succeeds in intermixing very craftily real life artists and fictional ones giving an exceptional depth to her novel It is very clear too, that her research on Paris at that time was extremely well done I was born, raised, and lived in Paris for forty years, and I ve never felt something ring so true and be so realistic The description of London in general and prison conditions in particular at the time seems dreadfully realistic also.This book was awesome from start to finish It was rather long but never boring This story grabbed me at the beginning and didn t want to free me in the end but I have no regrets I give this book 5 5 but if I could I would give

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