This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Saifunnissa Hassam for Readers' Favorite
Josephine Smith's historical fiction novel Between the Cypress and the Stars: Van Gogh's life through Perspectives is a re-imagining of the life of the artistic genius Vincent Van Gogh. The novel focuses on the last years of Van Gogh's life from 1888 -1890 when he lived in the south of France. In the novel, Van Gogh's art and life emerge through the perspectives of different characters. The narrators were all real-life people. Each chapter begins with a painting inspired by the people he met. The tension-filled narratives of artist Paul Gaugin's stormy visit to Arles mark a very significant turning point in Van Gogh's life. Mentally exhausted, he is admitted to the St. Remy asylum in 1889. The novel's title is based on Van Gogh's masterpiece Road with Cypress and Star, created in 1890 in St. Remy.
I greatly enjoyed reading Josephine Smith's Between the Cypress and the Stars. I loved the interweaving of paintings and narrative because that turned the novel into a compelling and thought-provoking story of Van Gogh's artistic genius. The different narrators' impressions, observations, and reactions tell of a complex character and reveal Van Gogh's incredible gift of portraying emotions, personality, and scenes through bold and vibrant colors. I liked Josephine Smith's inclusion of narratives about the strong bond of love and friendship between Van Gogh and his brother Theo. Another very important turning point is in the poignant story of Marguerite Gachet, revealing Van Gogh's kind, caring, and sensitive nature. Josephine Smith's novel was a fascinating and rewarding read for me!