[Blog Tour & Giveaway] The French Impressionist by Rebecca Bischoff

13:00 Cilla P 2 Comments



"Rosemary is fifteen and gloriously free, on her own for the very first time. Part of an exchange program for aspiring artists, she arrives in sunny southern France with a single goal: she doesn’t plan to leave, ever.  She wants a new life, a new family, and a new identity. But her situation, crafted from lies big and small, is precarious.

Desperate to escape haunting images from her past and a stage one helicopter parent, Rosemary struggles to hide her lack of artistic talent and a communication disorder that has tormented her all her life. She believes her dream of a new start will come true, until she unwittingly finds herself enveloped in a decades-old mystery that threatens to ruin her only chance for success.  Determined to stay, Rosemary must choose whether or not she’ll tell the biggest lie of all, even if it means destroying the life of someone she cares about.

Dramatic, heartwarming, and full of teenage angst, The French Impressionist perfectly captures the struggle of those who feel they have no voice, and also shows the courage it takes to speak up and show the world who we really are."


Title: The French Impressionist
Author: Rebecca Bischoff
Publication date: 6th December 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult


Review

The thing I love the most about The French Impressionist is its portrayal of the characters' disabilities. It focuses on the persons and their lives - the disorder is a big part of their stories, but not the whole point. This comes through most clearly in Rosemary, whose story is propelled by her desire to escape a life largely dictated by her communication disorder and a smothering mother. The disorder clearly has an impact on her; her frustration and sense of helplessness in those moments when she simply can't make herself understood often cut through me. However, (without underestimating the struggles she goes through), at the end of the day, her journey to find her voice (metaphorically and literally) goes deeper than learning how to form words properly.

It has to be acknowledged that Rosemary often frustrated me. She lies a lot, and she makes terrible decisions. Be patient with her though! As the story unfolded, it became clear to me why she is the way she is. I too probably would have resorted to drastic measures in her situation.

The other thing I love about this book is Rebecca Bischoff's descriptions. I'm rather impartial to France in general, but Bischoff does a great job painting this town that I quite adored it by the end of the story. It's not only the town either - just about every place Rosemary is in has enough details that I could see what she sees.

Unfortunately, it wasn't quite the perfect book for me. Rosemary's mother feels two-dimensional for me; she was never more than smothering, and I couldn't muster any understanding for her actions even when the reason behind them came to light. This was the case for most of the side characters, including the villains and Rosemary's love interest. I never understood her attraction to Gavin, actually, and I felt that the story would actually be stronger without the romance.


Overall, The French Impressionist draws a clear and respectful portrait of the struggles of someone with a communication disorder. While I feel that it is weighed down by flat side characters and a rather unnecessary romance, I also think that it is worth a read for its main subject.




About the Author

Rebecca Bischoff currently resides in Idaho with her family and works as a speech-language pathologist. She loves helping others, especially kids and teenagers, discover their own unique voices and learn to share who they are with the world. When she isn’t writing, she loves to read, spend time with her kids, and make awkward attempts to learn foreign languages.  She is drawn to all things both French and Italian, used bookstores, and anything made out of chocolate.

Find her on: Facebook -- Twitter -- Website



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2 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting today, Cilla! Glad you liked it it sounds like a thought provoking read!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for organising the tour, Giselle! It was definitely an interesting read. :D

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