From the bestselling author of The Dovekeepers comes a love story about one of history's most captivating 'invisible' women: Rachel, the mother of Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro.
Growing up on the idyllic island of St Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their tight-knit refugee community of Jews who escaped the European Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for refusing to live by the rules. But Rachel's fate is not in her own hands: in order to secure the future of her father's business, she is married off to a widower with three children. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome nephew Frédéric arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes control of her life, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal affecting her entire family, including her favourite son, Camille Pissarro, who will one day become a founder member of the Impressionists and one of history's greatest artists.
Set in a world of lush, exquisite beauty, The Marriage of Opposites shows Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. The marriage of Rachel and Frédéric is an unforgettable story of an extraordinary woman and her forbidden love.
Praise for Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers:
'Beautiful, harrowing . . . A major contribution to twenty-first-century literature' Toni Morrison
'Hoffman reminds us with every sentence that words have the power to transport us to alternate worlds, to heal a broken heart, and to tie us irrevocably to the people we love' Jodi Picoult
'A book as monumental as its subject, magical, moving . . . A genuine masterpiece' Daily Mail
Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The Book of Magic, Magic Lessons, The World That We Knew, Practical Magic, The Rules of Magic (a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick), the Oprah’s Book Club Selection Here on Earth, The Red Garden, The Dovekeepers, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, The Marriage of Opposites, and Faithful. She lives near Boston.
‘What is it that makes American authors excel at depicting marriage? Alice Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites is one of the best novels on the subject . . . not least because the opposites of its title embrace not just gender but race, class and religion . . . Hoffman’s sensuous prose is ideally suited to describing the landscape . . . As intoxicating as the finest island rum’
– Independent on The Marriage of Opposites
‘Hoffman is a master of evocatively described places . . . This captivating novel transports the reader to a sensual world of lush tropical landscapes, colonial opulence and conflicted passions’
– The Lady on The Marriage of Opposites
‘Alice Hoffman’s fictionalised biography of Rachel Pizzarro’s life is an evocative, sensitive and historically rich portrayal of a woman living ahead of her time’
Get our latest book recommendations, author news, and competitions right to your inbox.