Rose’s talent for delivering believable characters and plot shines in her latest novel set in the wondrous world of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The compelling storyline includes historical personages (notably Tiffany), the 1920s art world, spiritualism, the penal system and a mystery. Readers who devour well-researched novels brimming over with vibrant details that allow them to feel part of the story are in for a treat and the jaw-dropping climax will have them enthralled.

Struggling art student Jenny Bell is given an opportunity to join a small group of artists for an eight week semester at Louis Comfort Tiffany’s estate, Laurelton. Jenny and her best friend, Minx Deering, are joined by fellow friend, Edward Wren and five others. More than Jenny and Minx, Wren is driven by his need to win Tiffany’s competition. Jenny’s black and gray compositions intrigue Tiffany who encourages her to see all the colors surrounding her on the estate and use them to stave off the darkness. But Jenny cannot escape the past that includes her mother’s disastrous marriage, a murder and incarceration at the Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women. Why would her past come back to haunt her in such an idyllic place and in such bizarre way? Jenny’s friendship with Oliver, Tiffany’s grandson, eases her trauma. Yet, one night the pieces of her past and present collide, nearly destroying her life. (ATRIA, Aug., 336 pp., $26.00)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin