Blog Tour/Book Review: The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau

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I’m delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for historical novel, The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau, alongside my tour buddy, Margaret at Just One More Chapter.  You can read my review below.

My thanks for Hannah at Endeavour Media for inviting me to take part in the tour and for my advance review copy of The Blue.  Do check out the tour banner at the bottom of this post to see the other fabulous book bloggers taking part in the tour.

The BlueAbout the Book

In eighteenth century London, porcelain is the most seductive of commodities; fortunes are made and lost upon it. Kings do battle with knights and knaves for possession of the finest pieces and the secrets of their manufacture.

For Genevieve Planché, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees, porcelain holds far less allure; she wants to be an artist, a painter of international repute, but nobody takes the idea of a female artist seriously in London. If only she could reach Venice.

When Genevieve meets the charming Sir Gabriel Courtenay, he offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse; if she learns the secrets of porcelain, he will send her to Venice. But in particular, she must learn the secrets of the colour blue…

The ensuing events take Genevieve deep into England’s emerging industrial heartlands, where not only does she learn about porcelain, but also about the art of industrial espionage.  With the heart and spirit of her Huguenot ancestors, Genevieve faces her challenges head on, but how much is she willing to suffer in pursuit and protection of the colour blue?

Format: Paperback, ebook (430 pp.)    Publisher: Endeavour Quill
Published: 3rd December 2018      Genre: Historical Fiction

Purchase Links*  ǀ  ǀ (supporting UK bookshops)
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Find The Blue on Goodreads

My Review

Genevieve makes for a feisty, resourceful and independent-minded heroine.  Finding her ambition to be an artist thwarted by her lack of independent means, her gender and the prejudices of the time, she unwillingly enters into a bargain that will see her come up against an equally resourceful but entirely unscrupulous adversary.  Genevieve will soon discover that, when it comes to the search for the secret to creating something new and unique in the world of porcelain, there are men (and women) who will stop at nothing.

It’s not long before Genevieve is well and truly out of her depth, uncertain who she can trust and risking not just her own life but the safety of those close to her.  Not only that, but she discovers her actions may jeopardise her faith, even the country of her birth.  Along the way, Genevieve – and the reader – gain fascinating insights into the history of porcelain and why, for some, it has become not just a money-making opportunity but an obsession.

Genevieve’s adventures are book-ended cleverly by her attendance at two very different social gatherings, the last of which results in her rescue from the sticky situation in which she finds herself courtesy of a particularly unlikely source.

The Blue is full of twists and turns, intrigue and unexpected revelations.  It’s a skilfully told story that positively races along, making for an engaging, colourful and compelling read.

I received an advance review copy courtesy of publishers, Endeavour Quill.

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In three words: Engaging, suspenseful, spirited

Try something similar…A Light of Her Own by Carrie Callaghan (read my review here)

NancyAbout the Author

Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, DuJour, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Good Housekeeping. She is currently the deputy editor of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at City University of New York and a regular contributor to Town & Country, Purist, and The Vintage News.

A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. The Crown, her first novel and an Oprah pick, was published in 2012; the sequel, The Chalice, followed in 2013. The third in the trilogy, The Tapestry, was published by Touchstone in 2015. Her fourth novel, The Blue, was published on 3rd December.

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

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