|The Art of Rebellion|
by Brenda Joyce Leahy
The Art of Rebellion by Brenda Joyce Leahy(YA historical) Release date: June 15, 2016 at Rebelight Publishing ISBN: 978-0994839985 252 pages Website Goodreads
Released June 15, 2016, by Rebelight Publishing, this beautifully written, lush piece drops you into tumultuous and breathtaking late 19th century Paris. Sixteen year old Gabrielle dreams of becoming an artist but her ambitious parents agree to an arranged marriage to an aging Baron. In protest, she runs away from her provincial home of Laval to Paris, the City of Light, intending to live with her grandmother and pursue her passion for art. Her bold plan disintegrates as she arrives in Paris to discover her grandmother has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Alone in the capital, Gabrielle wonders who to trust: her new artist friends or the handsome but irritating stranger she met on the train, who just might be stalking her. Gabrielle's pride, ambition and impulsive nature thrust her into Paris' underbelly of betrayal and abuse. Will she find the courage to begin a new life on her own terms?
The Art of Rebellion was on the Calgary Bestselling Fiction list in August 2016
Gabrielle is not like her older sisters, who can’t wait to be married off and become obeying wives to titled husbands. For Gabrielle, art is her passion and as a married woman she knows studying art would be impossible, so she runs away to Paris, the prospect of her promised marriage to an older man too much to contemplate. She plans to live with her Grandmother, study art at college and become an artist, proving to her overbearing mother that she is destined to become more than just a wife. It is an era when women, including Gabrielle and her Grandmother, were beginning to want independence in their lives, but the male dominated world wasn’t yet ready to accept these new ideas.
I liked Gabrielle, she is bold and reckless, resourceful when needed, but still naïve as you would expect from a 16 year old from a wealthy family in the 19th century. Her art brings her to life and I could feel her excitement as the Paris art scene opens out in front of her. A man she meets on the train becomes a companion who escorts her to the Paris Exposition and the Louvre and I enjoyed her reactions as she viewed the masters for the first time and was moved to tears by the experience.
There are a lot of emotions in this book as Gabrielle swings from elation at finding like-minded artists and spends time sketching life in Paris with them, to despair when things don’t work out quite as she planned. Paris and the art world has a dark side too and when life takes a turn for the worse Gabrielle has no choice but to accept what fate has planned for her. In her dark moments I could feel the weight of her despair and watched the spark ebbing from her, all the while hoping she could find the strength I knew she had to help her escape.
This is a young adult novel and the author has captured the tumult of teenage emotions perfectly, but I also think it will appeal to readers of all ages who enjoy historical fiction.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brenda Joyce Leahy loves historical fiction and thinks she was born a century too late but can't imagine her life without computers or cell phones. So, perhaps, she arrived in the world at just the right moment to tell this story. She grew up on a farm near Taber, Alberta but now lives with her family near the Rocky Mountains in Calgary, Alberta. After over 20 years practising law, she has returned to her first love of writing fiction. She is a member of several writing organizations, including the Society of Childrenís Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) The Art of Rebellion is also profiled on the Humber School of Writers website Brenda is also a member of the Historical Novel Society and leads a YA/MG writers critique group in Calgary. Visit Brenda's website Follow her on Facebook | on Twitter Follow Rebelight Publishing on Twitter Buy the book: Amazon | Indigo | Barnes & Noble
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