Obsession. Rivalry. Revolution. From the bestselling author of Essie’s Roses, a heartbreaking, heart-mending new historical novel. The lives and secrets of three women, centuries apart, intersect at the artist Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny in this emotional, imaginative portrait of loss, love, and second chances.
“A brilliantly penned and original novel showcasing the extraordinary talent and genuine flair of a distinctive narrative storytelling style . . . [a] riveting read from beginning to end . . .” - Midwest Book Review
“. . . [a] warm, passionate, and life-changing story. Imagination is at the heart of this superb novel, imagination that builds, rends, and immortalizes. Muriel offers a story beyond words – exquisitely sad, loving, and healing historical fiction.” - Historical Novel Society
“. . . a fantastic air of reinvention to this deeply emotional and sensitive tale . . . a highly recommended read.” 5 stars! - Readers’ Favorite
“Author Michelle Muriel delights readers once again . . . Water Lily Dance is more than a mere novel that happens to revolve around an Impressionist artist. It is a wonderfully written . . . moving portrayal of the strength and resilience of women.” - Feathered Quill Book Reviews
The greatest loss we may ever experience is that of ourselves.
From the author of the award-winning, bestselling Essie’s Roses comes an imaginative, emotional portrait of the secret side of grief and the deep bonds and secrets between mothers and children. Three women centuries apart set out to escape a colorless life, connected by one of the most controversial, beloved artists in the world: Claude Monet. But at what cost?
Missouri, 2014. Sophie Noel, an emerging artist and daughter of renowned artist Josephine de Lue, holds an extraordinary imagination, but a year after the unexpected deaths of her father and husband, she cannot imagine a way to "move on" from loss—or the buried childhood memory trying to resurface that would have torn her family apart. To cope with grief and the temptation to leave it all behind, Sophie escapes into a painted world of color and light venting her anxiety to an old childhood friend—an imaginary one: French Impressionist artist, Claude Monet.
Paris, 1865. Camille Doncieux is captivated by the rebirth of Paris and the rebellious artists who wage war against tradition and the government's censorship at the annual art exhibition at the Paris Salon. Behind the windows of her father's luxurious dress shop, Camille plots a rebellion of her own after meeting three bold artists who will change her life forever: Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, and Frédéric Bazille. But in Paris, where a young woman's life is ordered and controlled, a family secret and Camille's quest for love and fame may cost her everything, perhaps even the man she loves.
From an eclectic town in Missouri to the stunning backdrop of 19th-century Paris at the height of the Impressionist art movement, Water Lily Dance is a heartbreaking, heart-mending tale of loss, love, and second chances.
|Publisher:||Little Cabin Books LLC|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.95(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite Water Lily Dance is a novel mixing contemporary and historical stories and was penned by author Michelle Muriel. Set in both 2014 and 1865, we meet women in search of a better life for themselves, all of whom are connected by the romantic art and beautiful gardens of the artist Claude Monet. In the modern age, Sophie Noel is grief-stricken and in search of a way to cope, and her artistic tendencies lead her back to her love of Monet as a means of escape. And, in 1865, Camille Doncieux seeks more from life in the company of the rebellious and powerful artists of the time, one of whom is Claude Monet. It is clear from the start that author Michelle Muriel relishes in fine art and has plenty of knowledge about it because her beautiful descriptions of Monet’s work make you feel as though you’re looking right at it. As a fan myself, I was totally transported by the historical setting of Paris reborn and the Salon culture, reveling in every stylish detail and the well-depicted dialogue of the post-uprising rebels. There is a fantastic air of reinvention to this deeply emotional and sensitive tale, making for a smooth mix of women’s emancipatory fiction, emotional drama and historical artistic fiction that fans of any/all are sure to enjoy. For me, it was the characters at the very heart which draw you in and keep you reading, superbly developed and likable as they are. Water Lily Dance is a highly recommended read.
Water Lily Dance is exquisitely-written, a transformative novel of grief and healing. This isn’t just a book you will read—it is a book that will live inside you with its beautiful images and depth of emotion. In the contemporary timeline we are alongside Sophie, who has lost her father, her husband, and her mother, and is losing herself in her grief. Sophie is lost in painful memories, escaping the pain of her past in a world of color, sharing her intimate thoughts with her imaginary friend, Claude Monet. The historical timeline transports us to 1865, Paris, a time of rebellion and rebirth. There we meet Camille Doncieux, an independent young woman swept up in the world of Claude Monet and his peers. Reading this book was at times like reading poetry. The writing was lyrical and beautiful. The imagery was stunningly beautiful, involving all of my senses. But it was my heart that was touched most of all.
Author Michelle Muriel delights readers once again with her sophomore novel, Water Lily Dance. This historical fiction drama guides readers through the lives of two resilient women living in two separate eras, one, 19th century Paris, and the second, modern-day Missouri. Intertwining their lives in the backdrop is the artist Claude Monet and his famous paintings of waterlilies. In the 1800s, Camille Doncieux is a young lady living in Paris with a close relationship with her father and younger sister. She faithfully works in her father’s shop, but longs to break free of the rigid French traditions and make her own decisions, especially regarding whom she is to marry. Despite her father’s wishes, Camille befriends several local artists, who themselves are bucking the strict rules of traditional art forms in Paris, and agrees to pose for a few of their paintings. Camille is drawn toward one particular artist, Claude Monet, and together they fall in love, but she is torn between her expected life in Paris with her family, and the often times rocky, and not-as-respected life among artists with Claude. Sophie Noel is a strong woman, who has had more than her fair share of loss in recent years. She had just started to cope with the death of her father, whom she has had a complicated past with, when her husband died tragically in an accident. This sends her into a major tailspin that she cannot seem to positively get through, despite the encouragement of her mother and close friends. One thing that she clings to besides her mother is art, particularly that of the painter Claude Monet, who whispers wisdom to her in her mind. Unfortunately, Sophie is left completely alone, swallowed up in her grief after her mother dies, and not knowing how to progress past the sadness. Together with a cast of dynamic and likable family and friends, Sophie is taken on a journey of her past and present that includes a few twists and surprises (including meeting a handsome Parisian!) that will hopefully allow her to work positively through her grief and move on to a happier, fulfilled life. Water Lily Dance is more than a mere novel that happens to revolve around an Impressionist artist. It is a wonderfully written, sometimes a bit wordy, but nevertheless, moving portrayal of the strength and resilience of women, centuries apart. This reviewer was delighted that, shortly after reading this novel, I was able to visit an exhibit entitled, The Impressionist’s Eye, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Author Michelle Muriel’s writing is so vividly descriptive throughout the entire story, that I too felt as if I could hear Claude Monet and his contemporaries whispering in my ear. This novel is also a great reminder, specifically for women readers, that we can move through and overcome grief and other obstacles, if we just give it, and life, a chance. Quill says: Water Lily Dance is a beautifully moving story about women, love, grief and overcoming adversity; a story that should not be missed.
A story of heartbreak, loss and second chances, Michelle Muriel gives us a beautiful story of three courageous women, centuries apart. Two timelines – one in 2012 Missouri and the other in 1865 Paris. The link between the two – artist Claude Monet and his garden. The strength of the book lies in its relationships, especially those between mothers and daughters. I found several “pearls of wisdom” throughout the book, the greatest being “My dear, we do not move on from grief; we move through it.” This statement was especially meaningful for me as while reading the book I lost a close friend. The emotional message of grieving and healing was presented subtly and quietly. Thirty-five-year-old Sophie is grieving the loss of her father, husband, and mother over a short time span. The loss of her mother was especially difficult for her as there was an enchantment between Sophie and her mother – i.e., instead of lullabies there were stories of sleepy fairies who “know the right berries to use to invite sweet dreams”. Sophie tries to bear her grief alone and finds herself unable to trust and is in danger of losing herself. Thus, she often seeks solace with her imaginary friend, none other than Claude Monet. Eighteen-year-old Camille is torn between the loving bond she has with her father and sister and her socially unacceptable love with Monet. Like Sophie, Camille is stubborn yet courageous. She is adamant that “I do not need a man to tell me who I am…to give me purpose.” But when family secrets are revealed she is left shaken. Muriel writes with a heightened sense of smell, taste, and sight thus drawing the reader in. The characters are endearing. Delightful Annabel was probably my favorite but I also loved Renoir – who was considered a “player” by others, but Camille saw his beautiful heart. I felt a sense of resolution and contentment as I bid these characters adieu.