The Gallery of Vanished Husbands

The Gallery of Vanished Husbands

3.54 (1,383 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A stunning new novel from the "New York Times" bestselling author of "The House at Tyneford"
London, 1958. It's the eve of the sexual revolution, but in Juliet Montague's conservative Jewish community where only men can divorce women, she finds herself a living widow, invisible. Ever since her husband disappeared seven years ago, Juliet has been a hardworking single mother of two and unnaturally practical. But on her thirtieth birthday, that's all about to change. A wealthy young artist asks to paint her portrait, and Juliet, moved by the powerful desire to be seen, enters into the burgeoning art world of 1960s London, which will bring her fame, fortune, and a life-long love affair.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 338 pages
  • 134 x 200 x 20mm | 260g
  • United States
  • English
  • 0142180548
  • 9780142180549
  • 90,257

Review quote

Praise for "The House at Tyneford"
"Natasha Solomons has written a lovely, atmospheric novel full of charming characters and good, old fashioned storytelling. Fans of "Downton Abbey" and Kate Morton's "The Forgotten Garden "will absolutely adore "The House at Tyneford.""--Kristin Hannah, "New York"" Times "bestselling author of "Fly Away"
""The House at Tyneford" is a wonderful, old-fashioned novel that takes you back in time to the manor homes, aristocracy and domestic servants of England. In this setting, Natasha Solomons gives us a courageous heroine whose incredible love story will keep you in suspense until the final page."--Kathleen Grissom, author of "The Kitchen House " ""The House at Tyneford" is an exquisite tale of love, family, suspense, and survival. Capturing with astonishing detail and realism a vanished world of desire and hope trapped beneath rigid class convention, Natasha Solomons's stunning new novel tells the story of Elise Landau, a Jewish Austrian teenager from a family of artists, who is forced to flee her home in Vienna carrying only a guide to household management and her father's last novel, hidden on pages stuffed inside a viola. Elise hides as a parlor maid in a fine English country estate, but soon she discovers that passion can be found in the most unexpected places. Already a bestseller in Britain, American readers will thrill to "The House at Tyneford.""--Katherine Howe, "New York Times "bestselling author of "The House of Velvet and Glass"
"Like "Downton," this romance compellingly explores the upstairs-downstairs dynamic of estate life."--"Entertainment Weekly"
"Solomons's poignant tale provides richly textured details that hold the reader's interest. Fans of Ann Patchett will find Solomons's style similar and will appreciate how the subdued tone and the quiet of the countryside contrast with the roar of war."--"Library Journal"
"Halfway though, I was so invested in this gorgeously written story that I could bar
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About Natasha Solomons

Natasha Solomons is a screenwriter and the "New York Times "bestselling author of "The House at Tyneford "and "Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English." She lives in Dorset, England, with her husband and young son. This is her third novel.
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Rating details

1,383 ratings
3.54 out of 5 stars
5 17% (239)
4 35% (479)
3 36% (494)
2 10% (137)
1 2% (34)

Our customer reviews

Welcome to the carnival of details and colours featuring a massive blend of vanishing husband mystery, post-Holocaust trauma of the Hungarian-Jews, London Jewish community and its woman emancipation, as well as 1960s bohemian painting scene of London. At the heart of the story is Juliet Montague, nee Juliet Greene, portraitists' model extraordinaire, abandoned wife, worrisome daughter, rebellious Jewess, eccentric mother, remarkable businesswoman-and oh so woman. Juliet's life has been documented in canvases since she was a fidgety nine-year old, and we follow the stories behind each canvas from the unintentional sittings for her early portraits through the period when various artists clamour to paint her, until her final portrait at 79-year old by her son. We watch Juliet develops from a flirty teen who doesn't think twice about playing truant from her father's factory to become a successful gallery manager. Daughter of practising Judaism migrants in London, all her life Juliet lives among close-knit strict Chislehurst's Russian Jewish community which observes religious rituals to the most scrupulous degree; a community that can be caring yet refuses to tolerate or forgive Juliet's misfortunes, rationales, liberal views and modern life choices. Juliet disappoints her dad from birth with her audacity of being born a girl when his company is called Greene & Son, having good eyesight when his company produces the best spectacles in London, always being underfoot or getting in everyone's hair, and marrying a Hungarian stranger instead of a nice Russian boy. Juliet shames the family by her inability to keep her husband, by her disreputable vocation and her non conformity to the Jewish laws. All these give her parents so much hurts because they truly love her. Masterfully woven and brilliantly structured, this is a women fiction that any literary lover will appreciate. Not only will you forgive the lengthy descriptions, you will savour them. Each evocative sentence drips with witty analogies that made me chuckle, beauty that made my imagination running, and painful truths that ripped at my heart. (When Juliet fretted about what might have happened to her lost portrait, I cried remembering my best drawings that I'd never see again because I'm too scared to find out what's happened to them.) More than a clever play of words, this book showcases the author's soul. The Gallery of Vanished Husbands is peopled with a diverse array of strong characters resulting from Natasha Solomons' deep understanding of the human faculties, psychology, habits, and insecurities. Her thorough observations of adolescent rebellion, mean kids and bullying, demeaning neighbours, secretive husbands, and genuinely caring parents are all very touching. And with her admirable knowledge in fine arts, her 1960s'London's bohemian painting scene is stronger than Victoria Holt's 1860s Parisian bohemian painting scene in "Daughter of Deceit". A thoroughly enjoyable read.show more
by Ia Uaro
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