The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
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The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

3.82 (14,755 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In the 1600s Sara de Vos loses her young daughter suddenly to illness. In her grief, she secretly begins painting a dark landscape of a girl watching a group of ice skaters from the edge of a wood. In 1950s New York, Martijn de Groot has At the Edge of a Wood hanging above his bed. Though it is a dark, peculiar painting, he holds it dear and when it is stolen, he is bereft. In Brooklyn, struggling art student Ellie Shipley accepts a commission to paint an intricate forgery of the painting, not realising that her decision will come to haunt her successful academic career. Gorgeously written, brilliantly conceived and executed, filled with tension and revelation, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is one of those rare books that stops time as you read it. This is a novel you will want to revisit for the sheer pleasure of watching a master at work.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 28mm | 372g
  • Allen & Unwin
  • St Leonards, Australia
  • English
  • Main
  • 192526680X
  • 9781925266801
  • 1,044

Review quote

Fiendishly clever and beautifully written. * The Times * Smith has pulled off something authentic: a complex novel, full of painterly description, that slides between centuries with surprising fluidity. * Sunday Telegraph * An elegant page-turner that carries its erudition effortlessly on an energetic plot. * New York Times Book Review * The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is a deeply researched, beautifully written, intellectually absorbing novel that also has the qualities of a page-turner...a tremendous story of art, deception, love, ambition and the place of women in the world, and in history. From the opening pages you know you are in the hands of a writer at the top of his game. * The Australian * Written in prose so clear that we absorb its images as if by mind meld, The Last Painting is gorgeous storytelling: wry, playful, and utterly alive...it's fiction that keeps you up at night - first because you're barrelling through the book, then because you've slowed your pace to a crawl, savouring the suspense. * Boston Globe * As this story of art, beauty, deception, and the harshest kinds of loss ranged over continents and centuries, I was completely transfixed by the sense of unfolding revelation. The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is, quite simply, one of the best novels I have ever read, and as close to perfect as any book I'm likely to encounter in my reading life. One of those rare books I'll return to again and again in the coming years. -- Ben Fountain, author of BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is a story told in layers of light. From afar, this novel is so beautiful, the prose so clear and vivid, that it seems effortless; on closer examination, one sees the rich thematic palette Dominic Smith has used. This is a novel of love and longing, of authenticity and ethical shadows, and, most compelling, of art as alchemy, the way that it can turn grief to profound beauty. -- Lauren Groff, author of FATES AND FURIES Gliding gracefully from grungy 1950s Brooklyn to the lucent interiors of Golden Age Holland and the sun-splashed streets of contemporary Sydney, the novel links the lives of two troubled, enigmatic, and hugely talented young women, one of them an artist, the other, her forger. A page-turning book with much to say about the pain and exhilaration of art and life. -- Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of PEOPLE OF THE BOOK In The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Dominic Smith moves effortlessly between his seventeenth century artist and those who fall under the spell of her work more than three hundred years later. Smith is a writer of huge gifts and his descriptions of the painting and of those who fall in love with it (and with each other) are rendered with wondrous intelligence and keen wit. The result is a novel of surprising beauty and piercing suspense. I couldn't stop turning the pages even while the last thing I wanted was to reach the end. -- Margot Livesey, author of THE FLIGHT OF GEMMA HARDY Highly evocative of time and place, this stunning novel explores a triumvirate of fate, choice, and consequence and is worthy of comparison to Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring and Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch... Just as a painter may utilize thousands of fine brushstrokes, Smith slowly creates a masterly, multilayered story that will dazzle readers of fine historical fiction. * Library Journal (starred review) * A wonderful narrative masterfully told and absolutely compelling. It will appeal to a wide range of readers, accessible yet complex in the manner of Geraldine Brooks of Anthony Doerr. I predict it will be one of the big books for 2016. * Bookseller and Publisher *show more

About Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith holds an MFA from the University of Texas, Austin. His short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and various other awards. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, such as The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author of three previous novels: The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre, The Beautiful Miscellaneous and Bright and Distant Shores. More information can be found on his website: www.dominicsmith.netshow more

Rating details

14,755 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
5 30% (4,365)
4 39% (5,759)
3 21% (3,086)
2 5% (800)
1 5% (745)
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