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The Huntingfield Paintress by Pamela Holmes

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Posts: 4198
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

The Huntingfield Paintress by Pamela Holmes

Post by Vanessa » Sat September 10th, 2016, 8:53 am

The Huntingfield Paintress by Pamela Holmes

Plucky and headstrong Mildred Holland revelled in the eight years she and her husband, the vicar William Holland, spent travelling 1840s Europe, finding inspiration in recording beautiful artistic treasures and collecting exotic artifacts. But William's new posting in a tiny Suffolk village is a world apart and Mildred finds a life of tea and sympathy dull and stifling in comparison. When a longed-for baby does not arrive, she sinks into despondency and despair. What options exist for a clever, creative woman in such a cossetted environment? A sudden chance encounter fires Mildred's creative imagination and she embarks on a herculean task that demands courage and passion. Defying her loving but exasperated husband, and mistrustful locals who suspect her of supernatural powers, Mildred rediscovers her passion and lives again through her dreams of beauty. Inspired by the true story of the real Mildred Holland and the parish church of Huntingfield in Suffolk, the novel is unique, emotive and beautifully crafted, just like the history that inspired it.

My Review:

A charming and interesting little story inspired by the life of Mildred Holland, a rector's wife, who painted the ceiling of St Mary's Church in Huntingfield during the 1850s. This is not just any old painting. It's a brilliantly colourful masterpiece! I was prompted to look it up on the Internet and it's an astonishing work of art, just fabulous. Here's a link to this amazing achievement:


Mildred Holland was definitely a woman ahead of her time, she seemed to have had such determination and strength of mind.

There are some great descriptions of how this intricate accomplishment unfolds and there is quite a lot of attention to detail.

However, I have to say that although I found the art side fascinating, I was not totally gripped by the storyline for some reason. Mildred's life is for the most part imaginatively told, but at times the tale did drag a little for me. Nevertheless, I thought it was a worthwhile read and I did enjoy it.

Reviewed for Netgalley and the publishers.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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