The Last Van Gogh

The Last Van Gogh

by Alyson Richman
3.9 11


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The Last Van Gogh by Alyson Richman

Summer, 1890. Van Gogh arrives at Auvers-sur-Oise, a bucolic French village that lures city artists to the country. It is here that twenty-year-old Maurguerite Gachet has grown up, attending to her father and brother ever since her mother's death. And it is here that Vincent Van Gogh will spend his last summer, under the care of Doctor Gachet - homeopathic doctor, dilettante painter, and collector. In these last days of his life, Van Gogh will create over 70 paintings, two of them portraits of Marguerite Gachet. But little does he know that, while capturing Marguerite and her garden on canvas, he will also capture her heart.

Both a love story and historical novel, The Last Van Gogh recreates the final months of Vincent's life - and the tragic relationship between a young girl brimming with hope and an artist teetering on despair.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425212677
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/03/2006
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 261,388
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.94(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Alyson Richman is the international bestselling author of The Velvet Hours, The Garden of Letters, The Lost Wife, The Last Van Gogh, The Rhythm of Memory, and The Mask Carver’s Son. She lives in Long Island, New York, with her husband and two children.

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The Last Van Gogh 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
katknit More than 1 year ago
Marguerite is 21 when Vincent Van Gogh arrives at her father's door for medical/psychological treatment. Dr. Gachet practices from his home, so Marguerite has ample opportunity to interact with the artist. She is drawn to Vincent, who is enormously talented but emotionally fragile, and in a very short time, they fall in love, in spite of the disapproval of her father and brother. Their romance is the pivot around which this novel revolves. What works best in this story is the depiction of the plight of women around the turn of the twentieth century. Dr. Gachet, as portrayed here, is an incredibly selfish man with questionable personal and professional ethics. The life of Marguerite, as well as those of her father's mistress and illegitimate daughter, are under his absolute control, which he wields with chilling disregard for their own preferences or ambitions. He cultivates artists as patients because it gives him access to their paintings, which he covets and accepts as payment. He makes liberal use of homemade herbal tinctures with limited understanding their pharmacology. What does not work particularly well is the author's characterization of Vincent, who in this book serves as the catalyst for Marguerite's story and not as a fully developed protagonist. His tragic struggle with depression is described rather than shown, and he comes across as more ghostly than vibrant in the scenes in which he is physically present. The Last Van Gogh is a bittersweet love story, but those wishing to know more about the artist will find little of value here.
LadyLucyLehn More than 1 year ago
This is an easy read! I breezed through it. It is a nice story though, and I enjoyed reading it. I much preferred and highly recommend "With Violets" by Elizabeth Robards, she is an incredibly talented writer who also chose to write a fictional novel on a well known artist. It is much more emotional also
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1890 an ailing Vincent van Gogh arrives at Auvers-sur-Oise, France seeking help from homeopathic Dr. Gachet. The artist finds an odd household awaits him as the widower physician has two children, twenty years old suppressed daughter Marguerite and a younger brother of no consequence to Vincent. The child also has governess Madame Chevalier, whom van Gogh assumes is the doctor¿s mistress. Finally, Chevalier¿s adult daughter Louise-Josephine joins the mix. --- A talented pianist Marguerite finds a connection to van Gogh as she would love to escape her gilded cage and see the world. She thinks the frail van Gogh might be her ticket. The painter also likes the youthful enthusiasm of the young woman and asks her father if he can paint her. Obtaining permission, he begins a series of paintings that depict a girl becoming a woman but also emphasizes her loneliness. As they begin a tryst, he tells her he cannot marry her, but gives her a painting of her to keep before her father realizes what is happening and locks her way not long afterward van Gogh killed himself. --- This historical fiction actually centers more on Marguerite than on van Gogh with the premise being that she was his muse during his last seventy days of life, in which he provided an extraordinary explosion of masterpieces. The story line is intriguing however, the support cast (including van Gogh) comes across as more fascinating and fuller than the lead protagonist. Still the vivid colorful look at the final days brings the era to life along with some insight into the demons eating at the artist. Readers of biographical fiction will enjoy this account of the LAST VAN GOGH from the perspective of his final inspiration. --- Harriet Klausner
addictedreaderSK More than 1 year ago
I really liked this story. It was an easy, quick read with believable characters and a good story line. It could've been even longer with more depth to the story, though. I recommend it. Would be a great summer read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book
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contradictionofsorts More than 1 year ago
An incredibly easy read that stands slightly above mediocre. The effort at painting the world around Van Gogh is satisfying with it's well-chosen colorful descriptives. Although the wonderments & thoughts are not lacking, it is missing a certain in-depth texture and that is probably due to a limited point of view. Or the author not fully extrapolating further and so you'll find some scenes too short to be considered satisfactory. The flow of the story is not terribly slow, it does transition when it needs be and complements the subtleness of the story. Altogether, this is an interesting concept that could very well have been possible during Van Gogh's last seventy days.*
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful story about Van Gogh and the parallel story of the young woman he admired and maybe loved. Refreshing look at the final 70 days or so of Van Gogh's life and the secretive home he was brought into to receive care. Great long weekend book.