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The Optickal Illusion by Rachel Halliburton

Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Duckworth Books

About The Book

Based on a true story of envy, lust and corruption… It is three years from the dawn of a new century and nothing is certain anymore: London is aflame with conspiracies and the French could invade any day. Amidst this feverish atmosphere, the American painter Benjamin West is visited by a strange father and daughter who claim to know the secret techniques of master Titian – a mystery that has obsessed painters for centuries.
Against his better judgement he agrees to let the intriguing Ann Jemima Provis visit his studio and demonstrate what she knows. What unravels reveals more than he has ever understood about himself, about the treachery of art and the seductive promise of genius.

My Thoughts

If you are searching for an interesting historical mystery with an interesting artist background, start reading, this is worth every page!
The story is about a mysterious manuscript that they say that it explains the beautiful and secret way the artist Titian painted.
This had been a very curious read, told between the past and the present (with 1 year of difference) we will be surrounded by intrigues and artistic details that will be a delight for any historical lover.
I really liked the story of Ann Jemima, she loves art but no one can accept her artistic gift; that’s why she is so obsessed with the manuscript; her way to be near art without anyone complaining or disrespecting her! It had to be really difficult to live in a moment where being a woman means that you don’t have a voice without a man, that you can not do what you like or say what you want.
In the beginning it was a little bit difficult following the story, there are so many characters involved and without any notice of what is really happening, but I quickly followed the story and loved every bit!
Ready to discover The Optickal Illusion?

About The Author

Rachel Halliburton graduated in English and Classics from Cambridge. As a journalist and the former Deputy Editor of Time Out she has interviewed notable
people including Gorbachev, Yoko Ono and Kissinger for publications such as the Times, Financial Times, New Statesman, Spectator, Evening Standard and the
Independent. She lives in London.