The Girl in the Painting


Cori Keeling is drawn to everything pre-Raphaelite and when she moves to London, she visits the Tate gallery as often as possible to look at her favorite painting, Ophelia, by Millais.  Another artist named Simon Daniels, who happens to work at the gallery, notices Cori and they quickly form a connection. Before their romance gets far, however, Cori starts experiencing strange voices and ghostly visitations. Is she going mad, obsessed over the pre-Raphaelite period, or has the woman in the Ophelia painting come back to haunt Cori until her story is finally revealed?


There is so much going on in this book—contemporary romance, historical mystery/romance, drug addiction, and paranormal aspects from several points of view. The author is amazing at setting descriptions, especially skilled in historical romance, and the reader feels fully immersed in British culture. Unfortunately, there are a lot of head-hopping and time-jumps, that, combined with the sheer number of story elements, makes it difficult to keep the narrative running smoothly.  The historical romance was compelling, especially when juxtaposed against the modern-day assumptions, and highlighted the power of laudanum addiction and its fallout during the 19th century. Simon and Cori’s romance, however, was lost in the many other elements the author was trying to combine. Overall, the reader will root for them to triumph over the forces keeping them apart and enjoy the ending.  This author has obvious talent and with a strong and focused storyline, her potential is just waiting to shine through.


Kate Campbell