Friday, 27 May 2016

"The Last Van Gogh" by Alyson Richman

Alyson Richman
   Alyson Richman lives in New York and has written 7 books, all receiving good reviews and high ratings.  
   I was so impressed with her writing that I wanted to read another of her books.
  "The last Van Gogh" got a four star rating on Amazon, but most of the others rated even higher.

   Dr. Gachet had trained as a medical doctor, but he became interested in natural medicine.  And so, he became a homeopath. He cultivated plants and herbs in his garden to use for his tinctures. He experimented with the remedies with himself and his family.  He gathered the flowers, roots and special leaves and soaked them in alcohol.  After two weeks, he would press the herb-steeped solution through a wine press and funnel the liquid into flasks.
   Dr. Gachet was most interested in artists because he felt that they were subject to 'melancholy' and he encouraged them to come to Auvers, France to recuperate from their illnesses by using his elixirs.
  This book focusses on Vincent Van Gogh's last 70 days under Dr. Gachet's care in Auvers.
  Dr. Gauchet's daughter fell in love with Van Gogh and that is the heart of the story.
  This author writes beautiful, descriptive sentences.  That was my reason for checking out another of her stories.  In this novel, she described in detail not only the paintings and the method of painting, but also the flower beds, clothes,  food, etc.  
"At my piano, my fingers stretched out to reach him.  As if the ivory keys were ladders to his heart.  I struck each note with the precision of a harpist, plucking out a melody that I imagined could reach only him".
  There was very little plot in this novel.  It could have been written in 100 pages instead of 300 pages.  And so, I felt that the description overwhelmed the story and I found myself skimming through the description to get to some 'action'.  

Both a love story and a historical novel.

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