The Library of Light And Shadow by M.J. Rose…ARC Review


In this riveting and richly drawn novel from “one of the master storytellers of historical fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams), a talented young artist flees New York for the South of France after one of her scandalous drawings reveals a dark secret—and triggers a terrible tragedy.

In the wake of a dark and brutal World War, the glitz and glamour of 1925 Manhattan shine like a beacon for the high society set, desperate to keep their gaze firmly fixed to the future. But Delphine Duplessi sees more than most. At a time in her career when she could easily be unknown and penniless, like so many of her classmates from L’École des Beaux Arts, in America she has gained notoriety for her stunning “shadow portraits” that frequently expose her subjects’ most scandalous secrets. Most nights Delphine doesn’t mind that her gift has become mere entertainment—a party trick—for the fashionable crowd.

Then, on a snowy night in February, in a penthouse high above Fifth Avenue, Delphine’s mystical talent leads to a tragedy between two brothers. Devastated and disconsolate, Delphine renounces her gift and returns to her old life in the south of France where Picasso, Matisse, and the Fitzgeralds are summering. There, Delphine is thrust into recapturing the past. First by her charismatic twin brother and business manager Sebastian who attempts to cajole her back to work and into co-dependence, then by the world famous opera singer Emma Calvé, who is obsessed with the writings of the fourteenth-century alchemist Nicolas Flamel. And finally by her ex-lover Mathieu, who is determined to lure her back into his arms, unaware of the danger that led Delphine to flee Paris for New York five years before.

Trapped in an ancient chateau where hidden knowledge lurks in the shadows, Delphine questions everything and everyone she loves the most—her art, her magick, her family, and Mathieu—in an effort to accept them as the gifts they are. Only there can she shed her fear of loving and living with her eyes wide open.


My Review:

The Library of Light and Shadow is the newest work in author M.J. Rose’s Daughters of La Lune series and while you don’t have to read the previous books I recommend you do…for no other reason than they are all fabulous.

This latest journey from M.J. Rose is filled with mystery, emotion, magic, intrigue, and even danger.

From the very first page, I was pulled into the story.  Starting with a letter from a woman who sat for a painting done by our magical and mysterious heroine, Delphine, I knew I was headed on quite a journey. And was I ever.

Delphine’s magical painting ability stems from a death and rebirth in a way.  She lost her sight and was able to regain it eventually thanks to the magical ability of her mother.  The woman in her family come from a long line of magical ability and now Delphine is one of them. Now, after regaining her site, she has the ability to paint people as their true selves, oftentimes showing their deepest secrets.  That ability has given her a reputation as a mystical talent.  A very sought after one at that.  But the thing is, sometimes the very thing that defines you can also be the thing that will be your downfall…

It seems as though Delphine’s life has a theme of love and loss.  As we visit her past through her journal entires, my heart broke for her and the love that had slipped through her fingers.  I wanted desperately for her to reunite with her soul mate but I also understood her fears. Delphine realizes love isn’t meant to be for her in a painted moment that breaks her heart and changes her future.

But what seems like a dismal and unhappy road ahead for Delphine will turn out anything but when Ms. Rose delivers another stellar and blissfully romantic end. I was making dinner while finishing up that last chapter and was crying happy tears into my boiling pasta water!

If you’re looking to leave reality behind and become immersed in a magical time and place, this is a book you must read.  Thank you, Ms. Rose, for another stunning read.

Five Loves

Book Links:

Amazon  |  iBooks  |  B&N  |  Indiebound  |  Goodreads



About M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice…  Books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose is a the Co-President and founding member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz. She runs the blog, Museum of Mysteries.

In 1998, her first novel Lip Service was the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the LiteraryGuild/Doubleday Book Club as well as the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house.

Rose has been profiled in Time magazine, ForbesThe New York TimesBusiness 2.0Working WomanNewsweek, and New York Magazine.

She has appeared on The Today ShowFox NewsThe Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USATodaySternL’OfficialPoets and Writers, and Publishers Weekly.

Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the ’80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Connect with her: 

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest

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