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New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.
A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly wantmoney, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artistan alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.
Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationshipand both their livesforever.
|Publisher:||Tyndale House Publishers|
|Edition description:||Signed Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)|
About the Author
Originally a mainstream romance novelist, Francine Rivers became a born-again Christian only after she wrote her bestselling book, Redeeming Love, a novel now considered a classic of Christian fiction. She has published many other Christian fiction books since then, such as The Scarlet Thread, Unveiled, and .
Read an Excerpt
Roman Velasco climbed the fire escape and swung over the wall onto the flat roof. Crouching, he moved quickly. Another building abutted the five-story apartment house, the perfect location for graffiti. Right across the street was a bank building, and he'd already left a piece on the front door.
Shrugging off his backpack, he pulled out his supplies. He'd have to work fast. Los Angeles never slept. Even at three in the morning, cars sped along the boulevard.
This piece would be seen by anyone driving east. He'd be at risk until he finished, but dressed in black pants and a hooded sweatshirt, he'd be hard to spot, unless someone were looking for him. Ten minutes. That's all he needed to leave a parade of characters dancing on the wall — all looking like the top-hatted businessman from the Monopoly game, the last one leaping toward the street. He'd stenciled the figure laden with money bags going into the bank across the street.
The paper stencil hooked on something and tore. Swearing under his breath, Roman worked quickly to tape it. A wind came up, pulling a portion away. It was a long stencil and took precious minutes to secure. He grabbed a can of spray paint and shook it. When he pressed the button, nothing happened. Cursing, he pulled out another can and started spraying.
A vehicle approached. He glanced down and froze when he spotted a police car decelerating. Was it the same one that had come by an hour ago, when he'd been heading for the bank? He'd walked with purpose, hoping they'd think he was just some guy heading home from a night shift. The car had slowed, checking him out, and then moved on. As soon as it disappeared down the street, he'd done the work on the glass door of the bank building.
Roman went back to work. He only needed a few more minutes. He kept spraying.
Brake lights glowed hot red on the street. The police car had stopped in front of the bank. A white beam of light fixed on the front door.
One more minute. Roman made two more sweeps and started the careful removal of the stencil. He'd had to use more tape than usual, so it took longer. The last section of paper peeled away, and he added three small black interlocking letters that looked like a bird in flight.
One officer was out of the car, flashlight in hand.
Roman crouched low, rolled the stencil, and stuffed it into his backpack with the spray cans. The beam of light rose and moved closer. It flashed right over him as he started moving across the roof. It traveled down and away. Relieved, Roman shouldered the pack and rose slightly.
The light returned, silhouetting him against the wall. He bolted, face averted.
The beam of light tracked his escape across the roof. He heard voices and racing feet. Heart hammering, Roman took a flying leap onto the next building. He hit hard, rolled to his feet, and kept going. The police department probably had a file on the Bird's work. He wasn't a teenager anymore, facing community service for doing gang tagging on a wall. If he got caught now, he'd do jail time.
Worse, he'd destroy the budding reputation Roman Velasco was earning as a legitimate artist. Graffiti earned street cred, but didn't help in a gallery.
One officer had returned to the squad car. Tires squealed. They weren't giving up.
Roman spotted an open window a couple of buildings over and decided to climb up rather than down.
A car door slammed. A man shouted. Must be a slow night if these two cops wanted to spend this much time hunting a graffiti artist.
Roman swung over the edge of another roof. A half-empty can of spray paint fell out of his jostled pack and exploded on the pavement below.
The startled officer drew his gun and pointed it at Roman as he climbed. "LAPD! Stop where you are!"
Gripping a ledge, Roman pulled himself up and went in through the open apartment window. He held his breath. A man snored in the bedroom. Roman crept forward. He hadn't gone two steps before bumping into something. His eyes adjusted to the dim light from the kitchen appliances. The occupant must be a hoarder. The cluttered living room could be Roman's undoing. He left his backpack behind the sofa.
Opening the front door quietly, he peered out and listened. No movement, no voices. The man in the bedroom snorted and stirred. Roman slipped out quickly and closed the door behind him. The emergency exit door was stuck. If he forced it, he'd make noise. He found the elevator, his heart pounding faster as it took its sweet time rising. Bing. The doors opened. Roman stepped inside and punched the button for the underground parking garage.
Just stay cool. He shoved the hood back and raked his hands through his hair. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. The elevator doors opened. The basement parking lot was well lit. Roman held the door open and waited a few seconds to scope the area before he stepped out. All clear. Relieved, he headed for the ramp leading up to the side street.
The police car sat at the curb. Doors opened, and both officers emerged.
For a split second, Roman debated inventing a quick story for why he'd be heading out for a walk at three thirty in the morning, but somehow he knew no story was going to keep him out of cuffs. He bolted up the street toward a residential neighborhood a block off the main boulevard. The officers followed like hounds after a fox. Roman went down one street, along a paved driveway, and over a wall. He thought he was home free until he realized he wasn't alone in the backyard. A German shepherd leaped to its feet and gave chase. Roman raced across the yard and over the back fence. The dog hit the fence and clawed at it, barking fiercely. Roman landed hard on the other side and knocked over a couple of garbage cans in his haste to get away. Now every other canine up and down the street was sounding the alarm. Roman moved fast, keeping low and in the shadows.
Lights went on. He could hear voices.
Inquiries would slow down the cops, and they'd be less likely to go over fences and trespass. Roman moved fast for a few blocks and then slowed to a normal gait to catch his breath.
The dogs had stopped barking. He heard a car and slipped behind a privet hedge. The police car crossed the next street, not slowing as it headed back toward Santa Monica Boulevard. Maybe he'd lost them. Rather than push his luck any further, Roman waited another few minutes before venturing out to the sidewalk.
It took him an hour to make his way back to his BMW. Sliding into the driver's seat, he couldn't resist driving east to check out his work.
The bank would have its front door cleaned by noon, but the high piece on the wall across the street would last longer. The Bird had gained enough notoriety over the past few years that some building owners left the graffiti untouched. He hoped that would be the case with this one. He'd come too close to getting caught to have the work buffed and forgotten in a day or two.
Freeway traffic had already picked up. Fighting exhaustion, Roman turned on the air-conditioning. Cold air blasted him, keeping him wide-awake as he drove up into Topanga Canyon, feeling drained and vaguely depressed. He should be reveling after his successful night raid, not feeling like an old man in need of a recliner.
He slowed and turned onto the gravel drive down to his house. The push of a button opened the garage door. Three more cars bigger than his 740Li could fit in the space. He shut off the engine and sat for a few seconds as the door whirred closed behind him.
As he started to get out of his car, a wave of weakness hit him. He sat still for a minute, waiting for the odd sensation to pass. It hit him again when he headed for the back door. Staggering, he went down on one knee. He anchored his fist on the concrete and kept his head down.
The spell passed, and Roman stood slowly. He needed sleep. That's all. One full night would fix him up. He opened the back door to dead silence.
Unzipping and removing the black hoodie, he headed down the hallway to his bedroom. He was too tired to take a shower, too tired to turn the air conditioner down to sixty-five, too tired to eat, though his stomach cramped with hunger. Stripping off his clothes, he sprawled across the unmade bed. Maybe he'd get lucky tonight and sleep without dreaming. Usually, the high he got from one of his night raids earned a payback of nightmares from his days in the Tenderloin. White Boy never stayed buried for long.
Morning shot spears of sunlight. Roman closed his eyes, craving darkness.
Moore got up early, knowing she would need plenty of time to cross the valley and arrive on time for her first day as a temp worker. She wasn't sure the job would pay well enough to get a small apartment for herself and her son, Samuel, but it was a start. The longer she lived with the Garcias, the more complicated things became.
Selah and Ruben were in no hurry for her to leave. Selah still hoped Grace would change her mind and sign the adoption papers. Grace didn't want to give Selah false hope, but she had nowhere else to go. Every day that passed increased her desire to be independent again.
She'd sent out dozens of résumés since being laid off over a year ago and only received a few calls back for interviews. None had produced a job. Every employer wanted a college graduate these days, and she'd only completed a year and a half before putting her education on hold so she could support her husband, Patrick, until he graduated.
Looking back, she wondered if Patrick had ever loved her. Every promise Patrick had made, he'd broken. He had needed her. He had used her. It was that simple.
Aunt Elizabeth was right. She was a fool.
Samuel stirred in his crib. Grace lifted him gently, thankful he was awake. She'd have time to nurse him and change his diaper before handing him over to Selah. "Good morning, little man." Grace breathed in his baby scent and sat on the edge of the twin bed she'd just made. She opened her blouse and shifted him so he could nurse. The circumstances of his conception and the complications he'd added to her life ceased to matter the moment she first held him in her arms. He hadn't been an hour old before she knew she couldn't give him up for adoption, no matter how much better his life might be with the Garcias. She'd told Selah and Ruben as much, but every day brought its own anguish as Selah took over his care while Grace went out looking for a way to support herself and her son.
Others do it, Lord. Why can't I?
Others had family. She had only Aunt Elizabeth.
Father, please let this job work out. Help me, Lord. Please. I know I don't deserve it, but I'm asking. I'm begging.
Thankfully, she'd passed the interview and tests with the temp agency and been added to their list. Mrs. Sandoval had a job opening. "I've sent this man four highly qualified people, and he rejected every one. I don't think he knows what he needs. It's the only work I can offer you right now."
Grace would have agreed to work for the devil himself if it meant a regular paycheck.
The sound of chimes pulled Roman up out of the darkness. Had he dreamed he was in Westminster Abbey? He rolled over. His body had just relaxed when the chimes started again. Someone had pushed the doorbell. He'd like to get his hands on the owner who installed the blasted system. Cursing, Roman pulled a pillow over his head, hoping to muffle the song that could be heard from one end of the five-thousand-square-foot house to the other.
Silence returned. The interloper had probably gotten the message and left.
Roman tried to go back to sleep. When the chimes started again, he shouted in frustration and stood up. A wave of weakness surged again. Knocking over a half-empty bottle of water and the alarm clock, he caught himself before he pitched face-first onto the floor. Three times in less than twenty-four hours. He might have to resort to prescription drugs to get the rest he needed. But right now, all he wanted to do was unleash his temper on the intruder who was ringing his bell.
Pulling on sweats, Roman grabbed a wrinkled T-shirt off the carpet and headed barefoot down the hall. Whoever stood on the other side of his front door was going to wish they'd never set foot on his property. The chimes started in again just as he yanked open the door. A young woman glanced up in surprise and then backed away when he stepped over the threshold.
"Can't you read?" He jabbed a finger at the sign posted next to the front door. "No solicitors!"
Brown eyes wide, she put her hands up in a conciliatory gesture.
Her dark, curly hair was cropped short, and her black blazer, white blouse, and pearls screamed office worker. A faint recollection flickered in his mind, but Roman dismissed it. "Get lost!" He stepped back and slammed the door. He hadn't gotten far when she knocked lightly. Yanking the door open again, he glared at her.
"What is wrong with you?"
She looked scared enough to run, but stood her ground. "I'm here on your orders, Mr. Velasco."
His orders? "Like I want a woman on my doorstep first thing in the morning."
"Mrs. Sandoval said nine o'clock. I'm Grace Moore. From the temp agency."
He spit a four-letter word. Her eyes flickered, and her cheeks filled with color. His anger dissolved like salt in water. Great. Just great. "I forgot you were coming."
She looked like she'd rather be any place but here, not that he could blame her. He debated telling her to come back tomorrow, but knew she wouldn't. He was up now. He might as well stay up. Jerking his head, he let the door drift open. "Come on in."
He'd gone through four temps in the last month. Mrs. Sandoval was losing patience faster than he was. "I'll send you one more, Mr. Velasco, and if she doesn't work out, I'll give you the name of my competitor."
He was looking for someone to field calls and handle the mundane details of correspondence, bills, scheduling. He didn't want a drill sergeant, a maiden aunt, or an amateur psychologist to analyze his artist's psyche. Nor did he need a curvy blonde in a low-cut blouse who pushed papers around, but didn't have a clue where to file them. She had ideas about what an artist might want besides a woman with office skills. He might have taken her up on her offer if he hadn't had enough experience with women like her. She lasted three days.
Not hearing any footsteps behind him, Roman paused and looked back. The girl was still standing outside. "What're you waiting for? An engraved invitation?"
She entered and closed the door quietly behind her. She looked ready to bolt.
He offered an apologetic smile. "Long night."
She murmured something he didn't catch, and he decided not to ask her to repeat it. He felt the onset of a headache, and the click of her high heels on the stone-tile floor wasn't helping. He was thirsty and needed caffeine. He went into the kitchen adjoining the living room. She stopped at the edge of his sunken living room and gaped at the cathedral ceilings and wall of glass overlooking Topanga Canyon. Sunlight streamed through the windows, reminding him most people were serving time on their nine-to-fives by now.
Opening the stainless steel refrigerator, Roman grabbed a bottle of orange juice. He removed the cap, drank from the bottle, and lowered it. "What'd you say your name was?"
She had the right look for the job — cool, calm, collected. Pretty, midtwenties, trim and fit, but not his type. He liked voluptuous blondes who knew the score.
Feeling his perusal, she looked at him. Women usually did, but not with her guarded expression. "You have a beautiful view, Mr. Velasco."
"Yeah, well, everything gets old eventually." He put the bottle of orange juice on the counter. She looked uncomfortable. Understandable, considering his less-than-friendly greeting. He smiled slightly. She looked back at him without expression. Good. He needed a worker bee, not a girlfriend. Would she take offense at his first request?
"Do you know how to make coffee?" She looked over at the one-touch automatic coffee-and-espresso machine that could grind beans, heat milk, and make a latte in less than sixty seconds with the press of a pinkie.
"Not a cup. A full pot of real coffee." He left the kitchen to her. "Use the regular coffeemaker."
"Do you like it strong or weak?"
"Strong." He headed down the hall. "We'll talk more after I get cleaned up."
Excerpted from "The Masterpiece"
Copyright © 2018 Francine Rivers.
Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I haven't read a book by Francine Rivers in quite a while, but every book I have read by her, I have enjoyed. She captures time, place, and detail in such a captivating manner. Her characters have depth and a variety. In this book she alternates between the present and past circumstances of her characters building the story's momentum. The two main characters, Grace and Roman, are not without past hurts and struggles and attempting to rise above them in their current lives. I enjoyed learning about them.There were multiple aspects of their lives I could relate to. Francine doesn't shy away from difficult issues of morality, character, and society. She includes gang life, foster care, divorce and much more, all well researched. Her story is believable and intriguing. You will find yourself caught up and lost in the pages of her book, as your emotions engage; before you know it, you'll be surprised at how much time has passed as you become part of the story. Francine also has a talent for weaving a tale of faith throughout the story-line as the characters grow and come to Christ. Two seemingly opposite people, from different worlds come together in this inspiring account. These broken lives healed by a Savior are the perfect example of His transforming love. I enjoyed this book immensely and would highly recommend it. I was provided with a free copy courtesy of Tyndale publishers and the Tyndale Blog Network. All opinions are my own, and I was not asked to give a positive review.
Francine Rivers writes in a way that is captivating. She makes the plot so intriguing that you can't put the book down. The Masterpiece was another great book! Up there with my favorites from her. I highly recommend this book. Great message, easy fun read.
Francine Rivers has done it again! This is another new favorite that I'll be reading again and again. The chemistry between Grace and Ramon was great. The book seemed so real with the painful pasts and true redemption through Christ. The book was definitely worth the wait!
The Masterpiece defined. I loved it! I'm having trouble putting into words my thoughts on the storyline so I'll not go there. The back cover of the book explains it well. The novel is very well written with great character development. I did have a little trouble keeping up with the switches between characters, in the beginning, but once I caught on, all went smoothly. The characters were realistic and certainly had their flaws. I especially liked how Grace's faith grew throughout the book. If you are looking for a novel filled with hope and redemption woven through a love story, you will want to read The Masterpiece. It is a very good book.
Philippians 4:8 English Standard Version (ESV) 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. This Scripture reference probably seems an odd one to use in a book review, but to me, it isn’t. The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers is something true and honorable, lovely and commendable, excellent and worthy of praise—a canvas of words swirled with emotions and truths that burst forth from the page like a spray of paint, bringing color and depth to enrich the soul. Like any glorious piece of artwork, it begins with a single hue that builds with intensity, spreading across the human heart until it is enveloped with the truth of the image. The Masterpiece reveals both darkness and light; delving into the very depths of humanity. With deft strokes of the pen, Francine Rivers shows that what we see on the outside is not all that there is. People have back stories, and some of them are so filled with tragedy that even the most stalwart will weep with compassion. I have read many good books, but only a handful touched my heart in the way that this one did. I found myself crying several times, not only for these fictional characters, but for myself and the countless others who have no doubt experienced what Roman and Grace experience. The scenes are vivid and realistic. The theme of redemption remains strong throughout this masterpiece and leaves the reader with no doubt about whom the ultimate Artist is. I highly recommend this book! I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a review. No compensation has been received.
From the outside looking in, Roman Valesco is a successful Los Angeles artist. He has it all--money, fame and just about any woman he wants. On the Inside, Roman has some demons he is wrestling with from his past. Grace Moore, his newly hired personal assistant, intrigues Roman. Roman doesn't think Grace is really his type. Grace also has a past she would rather forget and would rather focus on making her dreams come true. Is it possible for this couple with so much baggage to be able to form a relationship? Francine Rivers has written one of my most favorite series of all time, The Mark of the Lion. Her writing is powerful and beautiful but sometimes painful to read. As the author shares in her ending note, many people in our culture today come from broken homes and/or damaged relationships. For me, The Masterpiece, started out to be rather painful to read as I could well relate to Grace and her history with abuse. It brought up some painful memories for me, even though I dealt with my past with a Christian counselor. However, I pressed on and I am glad I did. I found myself pulling for Roman and Grace more and more as the book went on. I don't think The Masterpiece is just another romantic novel, it is much deeper than that. This book so clearly illustrates to me how God could work in someone's life, using all things for good, if they choose to let Him. The Masterpiece would make a great book club read. There are some great book club questions in the back of the book. In the back of the book, Rivers also tells the story of the gorgeous cover picture of the beautiful bird. I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers at no charge. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book.
Francine Rivers book the Masterpiece is a well thought and an easy to follow love storyline. The reader follows Roman Velasco, a successful LA artist. He has everything he could possibly want – money, fame, and women. Roman struggles to keep personal assistants. He ends up hiring Grace Moore has no clue that he is secretly wrestling with his demons from his past: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist—an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison. Not only is Roman wrestling with ghosts and secrets so is Grace. Her marriage was disastrous and she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. Roman falls for Grace until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship and both their lives forever. Francine Rivers did an incredible job bringing the reader into Roman and Grace’s life. When I received The Masterpiece from Tyndale and saw it was 496 pages I panicked, but by the fourth chapter I was hooked and could not put the book down. I ended up feeling sad when the book was over because I wanted to keep living in this character’s lives. Rivers’s descriptive words and pacing of the story allowed me to visually see it in my head. I felt for each of these characters in this book. Like I said the pacing was well down. This book, I found didn’t drag. This is a Christian fiction but it did not feel like one. To me, this book was not preachy. Rivers at the chance to really preach God being Grace is a believer in God and Roman is more on the atheist side. Rivers’s was able to do properly do character’s flashbacks. These character’s flashbacks were easy to follow. The Masterpiece touches on so many important topics our society goes through such as child abuse, marriage problems, single motherhood and drugs. This book would make a great movie on Hallmark. I would highly recommend reading this book. I would say that Francine Rivers The Masterpiece is a masterpiece. I want readers to know that no matter who you are, where you come from ,what you’ve done, when you accept Jesus, God will make you into His masterpiece. - Francine Rivers "Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book."
As always her books are great! It shows the power of Jesus to change lives and restore relationships! Great read.
Francine does it again! Couldn't put it down!
Beautiful story of two people saved by a merciful, compassionate, and loving God. Francine Rivers is an incredibly gifted writer. Her books are a treasure.
Couldn't put it down. Love how Francine Rivers captures you from the start and you feel like these characters are belove friends. Beautiful story.
Great book. Francine Rivers is one of my 2 favorite authors. Her books always touch my heart and always bless me.
What it's about: Grace Moore. A single mom, struggling to make ends meet for her and her son, has ghosts in her closet very few know about. Roman Velasco has it all. Money, women, power, anything he wants at his fingertips, except peace. Grace lands a job as Roman's personal assistant and she quickly sees right through his facade. Roman can't figure out this enigma named Grace. Working side by side, Grace and Roman's pasts begin to come to light, but at the expense of what and who's heart? In this soul-searching story, Grace and Roman come face to face with what it means to be forgiven by God's all-encompassing grace as he is forming us in to his masterpiece. What I thought: A story worth reading again! Francine does not disappoint in this tale of God pursuing his creation. This story is not picture perfect. It gets messy at times, you can feel the darkness surrounding Roman. You can see the battles waging in both of the characters' hearts. You can see God chasing. Francine is a master story-teller. Wrapping the reader in to the story right from the start. Throwing in romance along the way, but ultimately sharing God's pursuit of people and shaping us to be his masterpiece. Would you like it: A resounding yes. This is not a fast paced, mystery-suspense type of story. More like real life with real people who have real problems. And yet this story is very hard to put down. If you enjoy Francine Rivers' books, you will definitely enjoy this one! Tyndale sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. All opinions expressed are my own.
Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. Love reading her books.
This was such a wonderful story. I loved seeing Roman's transformation throughout the story. I liked how the author would take us back to different times in Roman's and Grace's pasts to show what they went through and to explain what they're like today. It was really eye-opening to see. It also made me pretty angry to see how they were treated, though. It was also interesting to learn about graffiti artists and how they operate. The cover is from part of an actual graffiti painting on a building but much larger. The spiritual message was wonderful, as I've come to expect with Francine Rivers' books. The gospel was presented in a very natural way. Grace lives out her faith and he sees something different about her yet she still struggles with temptation and trying to do and say the right thing. I liked Grace a lot and admired her strength; she was very easy to like. Roman was a little harder but as I saw how difficult his childhood was, it was easier to understand the choices he made and the way he treated people, though it didn't make it right. It also made the changes that much more amazing. The secondary characters were also wonderful, from Grace's friends, especially Shanice, to Roman's old teacher, Jasper, and the couple who ran the boys' ranch. There were some great romantic moments and some pretty exciting situations, too. There were a couple of very cool supernatural elements in the story; I won't say more than that because I don't want to ruin the surprise! There was also a cool twist. I did wish there was some closure on a few things that we don't get definitively answered. I can't say enough good things about this story. I highly recommend it for everyone! I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENET. This was such a great easy read. This lady at my job was reading this book and told me about it and she finished reading it I took it back to my desk and read the first 2 chapters and went to the Barnes and Noble website and reserved a copy in the book store near me picked it up at my lunch and continued to read the book. I purchased the book Friday and finished it Monday. I couldn't put it down. This is my first time reading a book from this Author now I am going to check to see what else Francine Rivers has written. I am definitely going to recommend this book to all my friends and colleagues.
This book is MASSIVE at nearly 500 pages. The cover is beautifully illustrated with sweeping, muted colors and a graceful image of a wing. The story is about two broken individuals struggling for survival. Everything screams symbolism in this story — the hot, desert-like environment, isolated home in the middle of nowhere, magazine-worthy house without a family to make it a home…it’s all a metaphor. Supernatural moments were surprising to encounter in this tension-filled romance. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect with these characters the way I’d hoped. Due to Grace’s situation as a single mother, she took advantage of a family trying to offer her a home. I felt resentful of her entitlement! Really, how hard is it to find childcare?! If she found the living expenses or job market to be too harsh, why not MOVE? On the other hand, Roman’s success as an artist allowed him too much freedom with his time and actions. He was almost hedonistic in his behaviors, making it hard for me to want him to become romantically involved with Grace. Though the big “twist” was so easy to see (even by the first 100 pages), it wasn’t the cathartic moment I expected it to be. The flashbacks provided by both characters set out the background. I found it to be too much information in far too many pages. It would have been just as well to hear a basic summary through some dialogue or even a getting-to-know-you conversation. Still, Rivers carried the story with a sweet reminder of God’s enduring love. Gentle words of encouragement and peace comforted me throughout the story. Thanks to Tyndale for sending me a free copy of the book. Opinions shared are mine.
After reading quite a few rave reviews about The Masterpiece, I decided to request it at my local library and give it a go. I am so glad that I did! This book was really large physically and was actually quite a long story at 484 pages in my library copy. Well, I devoured it in one weekend! I could not stop reading Roman and Grace’s story. I was captivated by these characters. They had been through so much in their tragic pasts. I was equally enthralled with both the flashbacks and with the present storyline. I thought that the author did a very good job of representing Roman, a nonbeliever who came from a very rough beginning. I also found Grace extremely interesting. She was a Christian, but had used bad judgment and followed worldly desires at certain times in her life. Sometimes she had trouble letting go of the guilt associated with those decisions. I enjoyed this story so much and will definitely plan to read it again some time in the future.
In one word, beautiful! This book was a beautiful story of two damaged people from difficult backgrounds. Francine Rivers’ writing is superb. Although this story is almost 500 pages, it never dragged or felt like it was too long. The characters were complex and developed beautifully through the story. I was not a fan of Grace at first, but after learning more about her life, I understood why she had her guard up and acted the way she did. The reader gets a look at Roman’s thoughts and sees his vulnerability and the pain that he’s dealing with. There are a lot of great lessons to be learned in this book but they’re not presented in a preachy way. It’s definitely the kind of book that makes the reader think and can grow their faith. My only problem with this book was the trope of “misunderstandings” happened a few times and it’s a trope that I really dislike. Other than that, this book was nearly perfect. I’m not a “romance reader” but I read Francine Pascal’s romantic stories, because they are so much more than romance. I highly recommend this book! My Rating: 5 stars I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
There are no pat answers for fixing broken people. In this story, Rivers builds believable characters who don't want to bring up their ugly past lives. When they are redeemed by Christ they become new creatures filled with forgiveness and love. I cannot say enough about Rivers real life stories, she is amazing.
No one is beyond God’s reach, but sometimes we have to hit the bottom before we’re willing to accept His hand. Francine Rivers is known for writing stirring stories of God’s redemptive love, and The Masterpiece is another wonderful work in her collection. Broken characters can be a challenge to read, and yet Roman and Grace have stories with which so many could relate. Their brokenness sets the stage for work only Jesus could complete. I loved that The Masterpiece was not entirely predictable and that problems were not resolved with simple solutions because reality is rarely simple. Their struggles kept me reading, anxious that they might blow it again! I also loved that the gospel was clearly included in very natural ways through the story and not foisted upon the characters. If you are already a Francine Rivers fan, you already know you want to read The Masterpiece. But if you haven’t yet read her other books, do give this one a try, and withhold judgment until the end. You’ll be glad you did! (I received a complimentary copy of this novel. The thoughts expressed here are my own.)
I don’t know if I would call this Francine’s best work. It was an easy read, but I felt as though it could have gone on for a little more. I felt like some questions were unanswered. I would post my question here but I don’t want to spoil it for others who may read it. I think when you read, you will understand. I think some of the banter between characters were cheesy, very typical.
Have you ever read a book that changes your life? That gives you a glimpse of how God works? Well, The Masterpiece does. Francine Rivers literally wrote a masterpiece. One main character is a man, Roman, who is fighting monsters in his head and body, even as he collects paychecks that are more than most of us will earn in a lifetime. The other is a woman, Grace. All she wants to do is follow God and provide for her young son, Samuel, and the best option is to take a job as Roman’s personal assistance. He doesn’t make a good impression, but Grace stays because he needs help, in so many ways. She does everything she can to help him, even though she’s damaged herself. There are so many things I could talk about in this book. The characters are amazing. Francine gave them a deep, twisted backstories that explained their behaviors as grown-ups. They both had every right to be messed up. Grace was able to crawl back from the despair, thanks to her faith in God and her reliance on Him. Roman’s a different story. He thinks God isn’t real. If He is, He is a cruel god who plays with people, then tosses them to the sea. And that’s where it changes. Francine Rivers makes a point of discussing a topic that people avoid: there’s a hell. There’s weeping and gnashing of teeth for the people who don’t accept Jesus as their Savior. Roman experiences it, if only for several seconds, and that changes everything. He no longer believes in nothing. He believes in Jesus, in the soul-saving, beautiful name of Jesus. Grace’s journey is different than Roman’s. She’s already steady in her faith, but she’s not a perfect, healed woman. She’s comfortable in her skin, but she also feels pain from her past. Her journey throughout the book was so beautiful to read. Ultimately, Francine Rivers writes a book that has many themes in it, but there are two themes that repeat themselves over and over: God’s love and His ability to take the crap that the devil does and make it into something that is beautiful. To Him, it doesn’t matter how damaged someone is, how much they have screwed up, or how far they’ve run. He still loves them, and He wants to turn their life from ash to fire. Fire for Jesus, and that’s what Roman had to figure out. He wasn’t content, even with his money, his skill, and all the girls who would do anything for him. We serve a beautiful God, and Francine writes that truth so well in all her books. This was my favorite of hers, and I decided about a quarter through that it would be one of my favorite books of all time. This story spoke to me personally, especially closer to the end of the book. It was such a beautiful moment when I got to feel the Lord speaking to me through Francine’s words, and I was blessed with knowledge of what to do in a situation I have been praying a lot about. So thank you, Francine!
rancine Rivers books don't come out very often -- but when they do, they are certainly worth the wait. The Masterpiece is an amazing story of hurts, fears, struggles, love and redemption with twists and turns in many directions that keep you turning the page. Several times I intended to put the book down when I finished the chapter I was on, but when that chapter ended, there was no way to stop. Roman, Grace, and their family and friends all are dealing with their own pasts -- pasts that are drastically different, yet the same in so many ways. God's love, shared in a variety of ways, makes unbelievable differences in so many of those lives. The Masterpiece is not a short, quick read, but reading it is worth every one of the almost 500 pages. I highly recommend this book for fans of great inspirational fiction. Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for providing a copy of this book. I am pleased to share my personal thoughts in this review.