by Eva Figes
Books > Fiction
Reprinted for the first time in nearly 25 years, this shimmering short novel gives an extraordinary portrait of a day in the life of an artist at work and at home.
In prose as luminous as the colours Monet is using to portray his beloved garden, Eva Figes guides us through the day, from the dawn (‘midnight blueblack growing grey and misty’) through midday (‘the sun was high now…shrinking what little shadow remained, fading colours, the pink rambler roses on the fence by the railway track looked almost white, and the grass had turned a tired yellow’) to evening (‘the tide of shadows rising as the sunset glow faded outside and the room grew dark.’).
Monet’s wife, Alice, grieving for a lost daughter; a living daughter, Germaine, fretting that she will not be able to marry the young man she loves; their friend, the abbe, eating and drinking with them, observing the essential faith of the painter’s art; two children, playing, closest to Monet in the freshness and certainty of their vision; all experiencing in very different ways the richness of the light that Monet works unceasingly to pin down in his last, great paintings.