Thursday 2 August 2018

Book Review: The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

by Carolyn Miller @CarolynMAuthor

Whenever I see a lot of buzz about a particular book I haven't yet read I get curious. When I hear it's a book by Francine Rivers, author of such thought-provoking best-selling novels like Redeeming Love, and one of my favourite series 'Mark of the Lion' then I'm tempted to find out more. And when it's staring me at the face in Koorong, okay, I'll bite. And I'm so glad I did!

Here's the blurb:
A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want—money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist—an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.

Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship— and both their lives— forever.

Why I like it:
* It reads 'real.' The characters of Roman and Grace certainly don't fit the squeaky-clean images one can read in many Christian fiction books (but probably do fit Francine Rivers's usual type of characters). Both have made mistakes, both are trying to overcome their pasts (and occasionally slipping back into old habits), both experience God's redemptive power at work. Their emotions, backgrounds, language, struggles, reactions all feel authentic. Love it!
* It's a fast-paced read. It's a nice balance of action, description and reflection. I wanted to keep reading because I care about the characters.
* I like the element of the supernatural. It seems rare to read such direct references to visitations from angels, demons, etc in such a mainstream book. But it reminds us how true this is, and how we shouldn't dismiss what we cannot see.
* I like the supporting characters. They seem like the sort of people I would like to hang with their mix of honesty, faith and fun. Oh, and did I mention they feel real, too?
* I like the elements to do with art. My new novel is based on an artist, so it's fun to read about a very different type of creator of artwork.
* I like the cover - so beautiful! (And the artwork was created by a real Californian graffiti artist!)
* It shows how easy it is to misjudge others, based simply on what we see rather than taking the time (and effort) to truly get to know others. This novel shows how true that can be for church people, too.
* Lastly, I love it due to the emphasis on grace - God's grace, big enough and available for anyone. One can never read too many books that encourage us to reflect on God's grace and to extend that to others.

Well worth reading.

Available at Koorong, Amazon, etc

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked part-time as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. 
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop and Miss Serena's Secret, all available from Amazon, Book Depository, Koorong, etc

Connect with her:        website | facebook | pinterest | twitter| instagram


  1. I enjoyed 'The Masterpiece' for all of those excellent reasons you have mentioned too, Carolyn. But it was that unusual, eye-catching cover that made me pick it up at Koorong and buy it--apart from the artwork, it just felt so beautiful to hold!

    1. The power of a good cover! (And it feels different, too!)

  2. I look forward to reading it. I have FR as one of my favourite authors but her book before this one I threw out - it was that bad. That's why I've been hesitant with this book. But sounds like the problems have been corrected.

  3. I found it to be such a captivating story and tried to race through it to find out what happened.
    Love that the characters are so relatable.
    Thanks for sharing x


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