I’ve read every book that Isabel Wolff has written so it was with trepidation that I approached Isabel to ask her whether she’d allow me to review her latest book. As a massive fan of her work, I was delighted when she said that she’d love me to.
I was even more delighted when I discovered that The Very Picture of You was every bit as good as every other book of Isabel’s.
This was the story of Ella, a portrait artist whose reputation is growing through painting some very high profile people as well as some sitters that she thought would be normal but that told some extremely interesting, emotional and heart warming stories. When her mother cajoles her into giving away a portrait for a charity auction prize, she is devastated when her sister Chloe pays for her to her paint her fiancé Nate who she really dislikes due to a conversation she has overheard him having whilst on the way to her sister’s party. Being the professional that she is, and out of duty to her sister she agrees, and after a deep and meaningful conversation with Nate, they declare a truce so that the sittings can go ahead. As the portrait develops, she sees a side to Nate that comes as a complete surprise. All this at a time when her sister and Nate’s wedding looms nearer and nearer!
Ella has always wondered about her real father, even though she loves her step-father more than anything, and when he contacts her after seeing an article in the newspaper, she is thrown into complete turmoil as to whether she should contact him or whether he should stay firmly in the past where she believed he chose to be!
As I may have mentioned earlier, I love her work, and when Isabel described Ella as a child looking out of the window waiting for her absent father to come home, it just tugged massively at my heart strings. The contrast of emotions that Ella felt about her sister’s fiancée were so well detailed, that you felt every single one of them. The pages seemed to turn themselves in this wonderfully gentle story of love, family and regret. When an author such as Isabel (have I mentioned that I love her work lately?) continually turns out such a fantastic quality of writing, time after time, it shows what a very clever lady she is.
This is a lovely, gentle, heart warming, delightful story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every page of it. Keep on writing please Isabel, I can’t wait to read your next one!
Born in Warwickshire, Isabel read English at
and after working in both the theatre and in advertising, she began to work at the BBC where she spent twelve very happy years at BBC World Service radio both producing and reporting in the Features department and in Current Affairs, and she also wrote freelance articles for newspapers and mags. She was commissioned to write a column - Tiffany Trott - which along with Harper Collins developed into her first novel The Trials of Tiffany Trott, a hilariously funny book which introduced me to the world of Isabel Wolff. I have since gone on to read all her other novels – and enjoyed every single one - have I mentioned I’m a fan? Cambridge
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