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Summary

From best-selling author Alice Hoffman comes a love story about one of history’s most captivating ‘invisible’ women: Rachel, the mother of impressionist painter Camille Pissarro.

Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel’s mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules.

Growing up, Rachel’s salvation is their maid Adelle’s belief in her strengths and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle’s daughter. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business.

When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favourite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.

Set in a world of lush, exquisite beauty, The Marriage of Opposites shows Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. The marriage of Rachel and Frédérick is an unforgettable story of an extraordinary woman and her forbidden love.

©2005 Alice Hoffman (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"Hoffman reminds us with every sentence that words have the power to transport us to alternate worlds." (Jodi Picoult)

What members say

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captivating

I have only recently discovered Alice Hoffman and found The Marriage of Opposites as captivating as The Dovekeepers.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant book on all levels

This is the second Alice Hoffman book I've read and I'll definitely read more. Intelligent, informative and thoroughly enjoyable. The narrators were excellent, a joy to listen to. Sorry when it ended.

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  • Kate
  • 21-04-16

Thoroughly enjoyable

A wonderful story beautifully narrated. St. Thomas was brought to life in the vivid descriptions of the landscape, fauna and people. Enjoyed it immensely.