The Lady with the Dark Hair: A Novel

The Lady with the Dark Hair: A Novel

by Erin Bartels
The Lady with the Dark Hair: A Novel

The Lady with the Dark Hair: A Novel

by Erin Bartels


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Esther Markstrom and her artist mother have always been proud of their ancestor, painter Francisco Vella. They even run a small museum and gallery dedicated to raising awareness of his scandalously underappreciated work. But when Esther reconnects with her former art history professor, she finds her once-solid family history on shaky ground as questions arise about Vella's greatest work—a portrait entitled The Lady with the Dark Hair.

In 1879, Catalan orphan-turned-fugitive Viviana Torrens has found sanctuary serving in the home of an aging artist in Southern France. It is in his studio that she meets Francisco Vella, a Gibraltarian merchant who sells artists' pigments. When her past catches up to her, she is compelled to pose as Vella's sister and join him on his travels or be deported back to Spain to stand trial. Along the way she will discover that the many parts she has been playing in order to hide her identity have far-reaching implications she never could have foreseen.

This dual-timeline story from award-winning author Erin Bartels takes readers from the sleepy Midwest to the sultry Mediterranean on a relentless search for truth, identity, and the freedom to follow one's dreams.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800741662
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/26/2024
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 206,497
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Erin Bartels is the award-winning author of We Hope for Better Things, The Words between Us, All That We Carried, The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water, and Everything Is Just Beginning. A two-time Christy finalist and winner of two WFWA Star Awards as well as a 2020 Michigan Notable Book Award, Erin has been a publishing professional for over twenty years. An artist from a young age, Erin paints in watercolor and oil and spent much of 2022 painting one self-portrait a month (among other things). After eighteen years in Lansing, Michigan, Erin and her family are busy enjoying the simple blessings of a less urban life in a small town outside the capital city. Find her online at
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