Wednesday, April 7, 2021

#692 : Victorine by Drema Drudge - Review & Giveaway


Historical literary fiction is one of my favorite genres. A well written literary fiction can make a reader forget their lives and push them to a utopian world that the book is set into. This book turned out to be one of the best reads of recent times.

Victorine is the story of Victorine Meurent, the muse of famous painter Manet and a skilled painter herself. The story follows the journey of Victorine as she poses for various painters, though predominantly for Manet and eventually ends up becoming a respected painter eventually. She is porta rayed as a headstrong woman who owns up every decisions that she takes. 

While first person narrations are great for autobiographies, a historical/literary fiction narrated seemed odd initially. As I warmed up to Victorine, and the trails of her life, I couldn't just get enough of her. The intimacy that the first person narrative offers is just unparalleled. The rich prose just sweeps all the tiny flaws of the plot and characterizations beneath the carpet of a good narration. My only teeny tiny complaint if the extra flab mid way through the book where the author describes all the paintings after Victorine sits poses for. 

As she eventually gets bored of posing and satiating the egos of male painters, she ends up finding her way to art school and blossoms into a painter of her own right. This head strong transformation was quite inspiring to read. 

To sum it up, if you are looking for a literary fiction set in Europe, this book is the perfect fit. 


Drēma Drudge

on Tour March 17-April 13 with Victorine  


(literary/historical fiction) Release date: March 17, 2020 at Fleur-de-Lis Press 362 pages Goodreads 📚📚📚

Buy It Here




Victorine, Drema Drudge’s debut novel, features Victorine Meurent, a forgotten, accomplished painter who posed nude for Edouard Manet’s most famous, controversial paintings such as Olympia and The Picnic in Paris, paintings heralded as the beginning of modern art. History has forgotten (until now) her paintings, despite the fact that she showed her work at the prestigious Paris Salon multiple times, even one year when her mentor, Manet’s, work was refused. Her persistent desire in the novel is not to be a model anymore but to be a painter herself, despite being taken advantage of by those in the art world, something which causes her to turn, for a time, to every vice in the Paris underworld, leading her even into the catacombs. In order to live authentically, she eventually finds the strength to flout the expectations of her parents, bourgeois society, and the dominant male artists (whom she knows personally) while never losing her capacity for affection, kindness, and loyalty. Possessing both the incisive mind of a critic and the intuitive and unconventional impulses of an artist, Victorine and her survival instincts are tested in 1870, when the Prussian army lays siege to Paris and rat becomes a culinary delicacy, and further tested when she inches towards art school while financial setbacks push her away from it. The same can be said when it comes to her and love, which becomes substituted, eventually, by art.


Victorine_Drema DrudgeDrēma Drudge suffers from Stendhal’s Syndrome, the condition in which one becomes overwhelmed in the presence of great art. She attended Spalding University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program where she learned to transform that intensity into fiction. Drēma has been writing in one capacity or another since she was nine, starting with terrible poems and graduating to melodramatic stories in junior high that her classmates passed around literature class. She and her husband, musician and writer Barry Drudge, live in Indiana where they record their biweekly podcast, Writing All the Things, when not traveling. Her first novel, Victorine, was literally written in six countries while she and her husband wandered the globe. The pair has two grown children. In addition to writing fiction, Drēma has served as a writing coach, freelance writer, and educator. For more about her writing, art, and travels, please visit her website, and sign up for her newsletter to receive a free historical fiction story. She’s always happy to connect with readers in her Facebook group, The Painted Word Salon, or on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
You can enter the global giveaway here or on any other book blog participating in this tour. Visit/Follow the participating blogs on Facebook/Twitter, as listed in the entry form below, and win more entry points!


Tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form] Global giveaway open to all 5 winners will receive an ecopy of this book