A story of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas, from the New York Times bestselling author of My Name Is Mary Sutter
The young Mary Cassatt never thought moving to Paris after the Civil War to be an artist was going to be easy, but when, after a decade of work, her submission to the Paris Salon is rejected, Mary’s fierce determination wavers. Her father is begging her to return to Philadelphia to find a husband before it is too late, her sister Lydia is falling mysteriously ill, and worse, Mary is beginning to doubt herself. Then one evening a friend introduces her to Edgar Degas and her life changes forever. Years later she will learn that he had begged for the introduction, but in that moment their meeting seems a miracle. So begins the defining period of her life and the most tempestuous of relationships.
In I Always Loved You, Robin Oliveira brilliantly re-creates the irresistible world of Belle Époque Paris, writing with grace and uncommon insight into the passion and foibles of the human heart.
For readers of The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan.
About the Author
Robin Oliveira is the New York Times bestselling author of My Name Is Mary Sutter. She holds a BA in Russian and studied at the Pushkin Language Institute in Moscow. She received an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is also a registered nurse, specializing in critical care. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
Praise for I Always Loved You…
“In smart and supple prose….Oliveira’s lively work illuminates these ambitious artists and rings true in the way the best fiction can.”—The Seattle Times
“[This] book is accomplished and well-researched….Although sometimes [Degas and Cassatt] are completely alienated, they remain linked through their art and love.”—Kirkus
“[Oliveira]’s illuminating portrayals of the inner lives of artists—Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot and Édouard Manet—are beautifully colored and as richly detailed as the paintings for which they are celebrated.”—The Chicago Tribune
“Oliveira has woven a rich tapestry of the artists’s life in Belle Époque Paris, in a close, intimate rendering.”—Library Journal
“Art lovers will fall for this story full of beautiful details about the world of the Impressionists in Belle Époque Paris.”—Examiner.com
“I Always Loved You is a beautifully composed — and extensively researched — blend of art history, vintage travelogue and good storytelling.”—Dallas Morning News
“Emulating the powers of observation and expression possessed by the artists she so vividly and sensitively fictionalizes, Oliveira illuminates with piercing insight the churning psyches of her living-on-the-edge characters. This is a historically and aesthetically rich, complexly involving, and forthrightly sorrowful novel of the perilous, exhilarating, and world-changing lives of visionary artists breaking new ground and each other’s hearts.”—Booklist
Praise for My Name Is Mary Sutter
“Think of Mary Sutter as a northern Scarlett O’Hara without the man-killer good looks or feminine wiles; more a Louisa May Alcott Plain Jane with a will of scalpel-sharp steel…Oliveira… peels back Mary’s vulnerable, human side in this intriguing slice of Civil War history.” – USA Today
“The title of Robin Oliveira’s debut historical novel, My Name Is Mary Sutter, perfectly evokes its eponymous heroine’s style: clear, determined, and, unlike most women of the Civil War era, unapologetically direct.” – O, The Oprah Magazine
“This work of fiction is built on years of research. The payoff comes in the rich details of this feminist story, which follows a young midwife from her upstate New York home to battlefields of the South as she pursues her ambition to become a surgeon…more than a dozen women who went into the Civil War as nurses did indeed emerge as physicians. “My Name Is Mary Sutter” give an idea of the immense sacrifices these women made in terms of social acceptance, close relationships and personal health.” – The Seattle Times
“At the center of Robin Oliveira’s enthralling and well-researched debut novel is an ambitious young woman who refuses to accept the limited roles women played in the field of medicine during the mid-19th century…With war as her canvas, Oliveira captures the campgrounds and battlefields of Virginia as vividly as the scenes of Mary’s midwifing, and the book’s sensuous language, wealth of period details, and unflinching descriptions of battles like Manassas and Antietam place it solidly in the ranks of the best historical fiction. [A] Believable, nuanced…sweeping portrait…Absorbing drama about a little-known side of the Civil War.” – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“There's more than a whiff of the classic in Robin Oliveira's compulsively readable historical tale about Mary Sutter, a young midwife and aspiring physician making her way through Lincoln's war--a new iconic American heroine.” – Janice Lee, author of The Piano Teacher
“A simply remarkable book. Robin Oliveira brings the Civil War era vividly alive with a heroine no reader will ever forget.” - Ron Rash, author of Serena
"A vivid, dramatic novel about love, medicine, and the Civil War, My Name Is Mary Sutter features an indomitable, memorable heroine whom the reader will root for until the very end." – David Ebershoff, author of The 19th Wife and The Danish Girl