Book cover for for - The Artist

The Artist

Book cover for for - The Artist

After her husband is drafted into the Air Force, Barbara meets Mr. Reaves, the town’s reclusive millionaire who is rumored to have loved and murdered local debutant Bernadette. Mr. Reaves commissions Barbara to paint Bernadette’s portrait in order to find closure. Barbara takes the commission but decides to assist the local sheriff in the investigation while creating a most memorable oil painting. Behind all, great love is an incredible pain. Theirs, Barbara discovers, was a masterpiece of dangerous secrets, complicated intrigue, and an ultimate betrayal.

After receiving word that her great aunt Barbara has suffered a great fall, Mia and her cousin, Nathan, set out to Michigan with their respective spouses to visit her. With her prognosis being less than hopeful and Mia being next in line to inherit the estate, Mia wondered if her aunt was ready to leave the property to her.

Upon arriving at Birds Nesting, she soon realized that she had much more in common with her aunt than she had previously thought. While Mia was a writer, Barbara was a painter with more than a dozen works featured in various museums nationwide.  Barbara, who can no longer paint due to old age, has given some of her beloved paintings to her family members. With so many options available, Mia opted for a beautiful landscape piece titled “For Loren.” With such vivid detail and unique strokes done in watercolor, Barbara reveals to her family the story behind the painting and how much Loren means to her.

“The Artist” by Michele Wallace Campanelli is a profoundly moving and personal love story that any reader can appreciate. As Barbara regales her first marriage to a pilot during The Second World War to a fateful encounter with a very generous yet mysterious benefactor, she unveils the greatest truth behind her works:  “Behind every great piece of art is great pain.”

The author showcases the power of love through the eyes of various characters. From Barbara’s young love to Mr. Reaves’ complicated yet unconditional affection for a fiery muse, Ms. Campanelli showcases love’s hold on us and how it never really fades but “moves on” to other forms. The book also tackles themes like grief, forgiveness, and how the family you have may not always be the one who understands you the most.  The author also displays her artistic talent by incorporating dynamic characters, unexpected plot twists, and endearing messages. In a nutshell, “The Artist” is a work of art all on its own that should grace every romance fan’s bookshelf.  If you are a fan of romance set in the 1940s, you’ll find this book an excellent option, with unexpected plot twists and compelling characters; it’s the kind of book you’ll have no problem devouring from start to finish.

The Moving Words Review,