Title: The Portrait of Géraldine Germaine
Author: E.M. Epps
Genre: Short Story, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Amazon Digital Publishing
Release Date: January 9th, 2014
Source: Received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review
It’s almost the turn of the century in Paris, and Géraldine Germaine is an independent woman. She rides a bicycle, scoffs at the ridiculous fashions in hats, and makes a living (barely) by writing a melodramatic weekly serial (published under a man’s name, of course). She loves her work, and life is beautiful – even if the ceiling of her attic apartment is so low she can’t sit up in bed.
Then she starts to notice certain coincidences between her life and her fictional heroine’s. Little things, at first.
But then…she meets a painter who looks just like the hero of her story.
And he wants her to be his muse….
This story is charming. I have no other word for it. The language is intelligent and sensual (I was craving peaches like you wouldn’t believe, by the end of it), and the MC is the kind of gal I’d like to befriend. Her voice was authentic, as as Sébastien’s, which made me binge-read this in one sitting (er, at bedtime).
I’m not a fan of Paris, to be honest, but it’s described so vividly (implicitly, as as Parisian working in Paris, not a tourist visiting the sights) It was an ideal setting for an historical fiction story with magical realism and (delightfully awkward) romance. PLUS there’s a story-within-story element, and a sincere love of books in the narrative.
I definitely recommend it to fans of historical fiction short stories, especially ones with the kind of detail that makes you feel as if you’re there.