Friday, August 10, 2012
Passion Blue by Victoria Strauss
Something I love about writing a blog and being involved in social media is that you are able to communicate with people who would be otherwise unreachable. This capability has made itself most evident by my opportunities to connect with some of my favorite authors, as well as discovering some new authors.
One author whom I have met through social media is Victoria Strauss, an accomplished writer of both adult and young adult books. I came across her twitter feed when another author re-tweeted one of Victoria’s posts. As fate would have it, we messaged back and forth a little, and she accepted my offer to review her book Passion Blue.
Passion Blue is set in Renaissance Italy and tells the story of Guilia, a precocious young woman who sketches constantly and dreams of having a family. Growing up as the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy nobleman, Guilia received the distant care of her father and the scorn of the rest of the household. When her father dies unexpectedly, the lingering security he provided quickly falls apart, and his widow forces her to join a convent. Desperate to escape, Guilia seeks out a sorcerer with the power to create a talisman that fulfills desires. The talisman seems to work as she begins life at the convent, but Guilia must discover if it is directing her toward marriage or something completely different.
Thoughts on Passion Blue:
I was in the perfect mood when I picked up Passion Blue from the top of my to-read stack. I had just finished a very lengthy book and was ready for a story that did not have to force an extreme level of epic to be an accomplished, complete book. Passion Blue was a wonderful, relaxing read that ended with a flourish and left me with a positive thought.
Within the first paragraph, Victoria Strauss’s depiction of Italy, painting, and color drew me into the story. I love how she described the sensation of Guilia becoming thoroughly absorbed in her drawings. It was so accurate that I started having flashbacks to times when I have become enthralled with my own projects.
My favorite character was Maestra Humilita, who oversaw the painting workshop. While Guilia is an accurate character for a teenage heroine, I found that I was able to relate more to the Maestra, who had already discovered herself but still struggled against the limitations of a biased world.
The overall message of the book, that no one should settle for a life that does not match their true passion and talent, was fantastic. In my opinion, this is an idea that can never be over taught, especially when there are still so many women (even in modern places of the world) who have been raised to believe that a successful life is only accomplished when you meet someone else’s ideal.
To summarize my thoughts, I found Passion Blue to be a delightful, fun read. It is the perfect book to bring on vacation or to curl up with on a rainy weekend. I would recommend this book for pre-teen or young adult readers, as well as for those who enjoy historical fiction or works involving drawing and painting.
A special thanks to Victoria Strauss for responding to my message and giving me the chance to read and review her book!!