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 Epoque Paris, writing with grace and uncommon insight into the passion and foibles of the human heart.
For readers of Cathy Marie Buchanan's "The Painted Girls."
An exhibit on the relationship between Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas is now on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and will run until October 5, 2014.
“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 Bell Époque Paris, in a close, intimate rendering.”—Library Journal
“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
“[A] riveting saga about trying to break a 19th-century glass ceiling.” – Good Housekeeping
“My Name Is Mary Sutter is a riveting, well-researched novel about a young nurse during the Civil War. The incredibly vivid details and well-drawn characters create a story that resonates long after the last page is turned.” – Family Circle
“Oliveira’s compelling voice…does a splendid job of reminding us how much the known world has changed—and how much has not.” – Portland Oregonian
“My Name Is Mary Sutter now ranks with Cold Mountain as my all-time favorite Civil War-era novel. It is a beautifully written, fully realized, and astoundingly insightful novel, the finest and, in the best sense, most American novel about an American heroine or hero that I’ve read since The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.” – Howard Frank Mosher, author of Walking to Gatlinburg
“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
“This is a finely written novel of a passionate but headstrong woman who lets nothing stand in her way…The author uses her knowledge about the war to describe the deplorable conditions under which the medical profession worked. Amputations are described in detail, and these scenes are not for the faint-hearted. The relationships between Mary and her family members, her mentor, and others she meets are exceptionally well done. This unforgettable novel of the American Civil War should become a classic. I highly recommend My Name Is Mary Sutter to readers who wish to gain a better understanding of the war and its effects on those who lived through it.”- Jeff Westerhoff, The Historical Novels Review (Editor’s Choice)
“Oliveira’s voice is urgently compelling in its detail and so authentically pitched, she might have been transported directly from the tumult of Civil War Washington to report this story.” - Debra Dean, author of Madonnas of Leningrad