If you’ve read Alyson Richman’s novels before, you won’t be disappointed with The Velvet Hours. If you’re a first time reader, get ready to add a pile of books to your to-read shelf.

Many authors have a style or thread that links their stories together, not as part of a series but just the certain something that lets their readers know what to expect from each new work. The overarching theme that binds all of Ms. Richman’s stories together is that beauty can survive (and thrive) in even the darkest of circumstances. In past novels we’ve explored how painting, music, and other outward expressions of art have shined in times of tragedy. In The Velvet Hours the art is merely the physical manifestation of the true beauty–one housed within the person immortalized in painting.

The Velvet hours is the fictionalized story behind the discovery of Marthe de Florian’s time capsule of a Paris apartment and her stunning portrait by Giovanni Boldini. Knowledge of Mme de Florian’s story is incomplete at best and this is where Ms. Richman comes in. Building a detailed and multifaceted world around what little facts are known, the author gives us one possible version of Mme de Florian’s tale. Exploring not only Mme de Florian’s own life as a Parisian courtesan, The Velvet Hours also introduces us to Solange Beaugiron, Marthe’s granddaughter, and the one eventually locks the mysterious apartment for the final time. A story of love, loss, strength, art, and a string of pearls, Alyson Richman gives us a tale that, I thi Mme de Florian would have loved to be a part of.

The Velvet Hours comes out next week, September 6th 2016, so preorder or add it to your TBR lists now but while you’re waiting take a minute to read our interview with Alyson Richman.


Rating: 4 stars

Reviewer: Jess

Title: The Velvet Hours

Author: Alyson Richman

Release Date: September 6, 2016

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This book was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.