Friday, January 29, 2010


I picked up a new book at the library. Called Sunflowers, it's by art historian/professor Sheramy Bundrick, and tells a fictionalized account of the life of Vincent Van Gogh and the prostitute who received his ear when he had a breakdown in Arles. We all know - or think we know - that story. But Bundrick has taken it and made it into a romance story - the story of meeting, loving, and losing Vincent from the point of view of Rachel, the prostitute. It is a bit unbelievable in places, but also a bit sad, knowing the ending is coming for poor Rachel and Vincent and there is nothing either can do about it.

I enjoyed how Vincent's paintings and sketches became a character in the novel. Bundrick gives us an insider's view of Van Gogh that is more, well...normal, than portrayed in most things written about him.

I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the books of Tracy Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring), or Susan Vreeland (The Passion of Artemesia).

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