Book Review: The Witch of Painted Sorrows


The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose    Published by Atria Books


In her signature lush prose, M.J. Rose paints an intriguing gothic tale set during the 1890s Belle Époque Paris. Sandrine Salome, fleeing from her dangerous husband in New York, seeks refuge in her grandmother’s grand mansion in hopes of creating  a new life for herself. Upon arrival, she discovers her (courtesan) grandmother’s mansion is boarded up. When questioned, her grandmother’s evasive answer piques Sandrine’s curiosity to discover her secrets. Along with a charming young architect, she begins to explore the forbidden and dangerous night world of Paris. 

Sandrine becomes fascinated with the Maison de la Lune, a mansion which has been in the Verlaine family for centuries. As Sandrine becomes more involved in the secrets surrounding Maison de la Lune, she becomes prey to the life draining force of La Lune, a long-suffering ancestor of the Verlaine family.

M.J. Rose captures Sandrine’s sadness and obsessive desire to find her own identity. The Witch of Painted Sorrows blends a haunted Parisian mansion, a 16th century courtesan, and witchcraft, giving the reader a thrilling ride to the end. I’m looking forward to M.J. Rose’s second installment of The Daughters of La Lune.

A copy of the book was provided to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Is it good to have a FWB?

     I’m writing a chick-lit novel about the experiences of post-college women. The characters in my book go through typical experiences of twenty/thirty-somethings: relationships, careers, experimentation, etc. Being in my forties, the term “Friends with Benefits” (FWB) didn’t exist when I was younger. Of course it happened, it just wasn’t discussed as openly as it is today. I want to portray an accurate experience of being in a FWB relationship.

Readers, I’m asking for your input.

What’s your experience having FWB? Is it a good or bad idea?
Is it empowering being in a FWB relationship?
When the relationship ends, do you feel hurt if your friendship doesn’t continue?
Who benefits more from having FWB?

I appreciate and encourage your feedback!