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The Very Picture of You
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The Very Picture of You

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  1,791 ratings  ·  283 reviews
Where the eye sees the brushstroke, the heart sees the truth.

At thirty-five, Gabriella “Ella” Graham is a successful portrait artist in London. She captures the essential truth in each of her subjects’ faces—a tilt of the chin, a glint in the eye—and immortalizes it on canvas. But closer to home, Ella finds the truth more elusive. Her father abandoned the family when s
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Bantam (first published 2011)
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‘The Very Picture of You’ was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Random House Publishing Group .

Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

‘I felt like Tantalus, neck-deep in water that he could never drink, grasping at fruit that was always just out of reach.’

Ella is an extremely successful portrait artist who has just been asked by her sister Chloe to do a portrait of her future brother-in-law, Nate, whom she despises. Early on in Nate and Chloe’s relationship, Ella overheard
I had read Isabel Wolff's A VINTAGE AFFAIR and was quite taken by it, hence my excitement when THE VERY PICTURE OF YOU was offered. I must say that I was disappointed in the story. It was so predictable, and in a few instances downright vapid, that it failed to hold my interest.

While I will admit there was more than enough information about the preparation of canvas for a portrait and the myriad of colors artists use to achieve a look in the eyes, a particular skin tone, etc. those particular d
As I read this wonderfully colorful story, I couldn't help thinking of the saying: "A picture is worth a thousand words." We learn Ella's story, as well as those of her family, friends, and the people she she paints them. In each sitting, Ella, the portrait artist, elicits the stories of her subjects. And as she gradually portrays them, we learn bits and pieces of her story as she interacts with them and reflects on her life.

At thirty-five, Ella Graham has a big hole in her heart...a
Nikki Wilde
liked this story. I finished in one day. The only disappointing thing for me is that sometimes you read a story and it stays with you for days and you keep thinking about it and going back over it and for me, this story was not like that. Don't get me wrong, it was good but just not one that I'm recapping in my head.

I loved the side stories that went with each character. Particularly, Iris. I loved her story and I couldn't wait to hear the entire thing. This novel was easy to predict. There was
I love Isabel Wolff, she is one of my favourite Chick Lit authors and there’s only two of her novels I haven’t read. The rest are all wonderful reads, with her last novel A Vintage Affair being a particular favourite. I was extremely pleased to see Isabel was back in 2011 with a new novel called The Very Picture of You and I couldn’t wait to read it and I nearly died when I received a copy to review. I did wonder if the novel would be as good as A Vintage Affair, because, seriously, that book wa ...more
Ella paints portraits of other people. She spends hours staring at someone’s face, trying to capture not just their looks but a bit of what makes them who they are. She never paints herself though because if she did, the abandonment by her father might show up as part of whom she is. See, Ella has never really gotten over that and when the estranged father contacts her, she can’t see any choice but to refuse to see him.

When she is commissioned to paint her sister’s fiancé and two other people,
Isabel is a fantastic storyweaver. What I picked up thinking it would be a good book turned out to be a page turner. Complete with characters so well developed they feel real and utterly fascinating. Ella is an artist that paints people. She has a rule though, only in real life. She doesn't do any paintings from pictures or post humous -- However Ella will find out a lot about herself and others around her very quickly.

Ella's mother told her when she was 11 that her father abandoned them for ano
Kim Nash
This was the story of Ella, a portrait artist whose reputation is growing through painting some very high profile people as well as some sitters that she thought would be normal but that told some extremely interesting, emotional and heart warming stories. When her mother cajoles her into giving away a portrait for a charity auction prize, she is devastated when her sister Chloe pays for her to her paint her fiancé Nate who she really dislikes due to a conversation she has overheard him having w ...more
Mark Soone
I am flirting with the idea of 5 stars, but cannot decide! I won this book on goodreads (Thanks Ania), and had never heard of Isabel Wolff and did not really know what to excpect. The inside flap of the book was slightly different than the write up on good reads and my excpectations going into this declined and were not real high. Combine that with the fact that this is not my normal genre...and I still don't know exactly what genre lable to place upon this book.

This story is heart breaking and
The thing I love and/or hate about Wolff is that her novels are always lauded as "Summer Beach Reads"... well, I disagree... for the most part. I think they are much more in depth, & insightful than the "picture" (ha) that phrase elicits. In this one, I was impressed by the amount of research that had to be done to understand the world of a portrait artist. To be completely honest, I went to The National Portrait Gallery only a week before reading this, & I really wish I had waited... be ...more
Very poorly developed story.
Too predictable for me!
Pippa Franks
I love Isabel's books and this one in no exception. The thing I admire most in her work is the character development, not just in the main character but in the supporting ones too.
In this book everybody has their own story to tell and secrets to be shared. I'm not going to reveal much of the plot, but for me, the premise didn't disappoint. As the story unfolds, often through portraits created by Ella, we are led through a web of deceit, betrayal and intrigue. Family ties are put to the test and
Book-shelf Shelf
I've given up looking at a book n thinking 'hmmmm not sure it my thing'... as i do that so much and then am captivated by the story so much that i end up only talking about that book for ages. This has happened with this book, the story of Ella painting portraits is one on its own, but then the sitters storys come into it, along with Ella's mom. Each story is unique but tied to that person so firmly and told so well. I loved every page of this book and can usually see the out come by half way th ...more
Toujours plaisant d'avoir des suggestions de lecture de sources inattendues, comme ici, ma belle-mère qui m'a gentiment prêté ce livre trouvé dans une bibliothèque style "Libérez les livres".

C'était très bon. Mon seul hic, c'est qu'il y avait tellement d'adultères et d'aventures extra-conjugales qu'on aurait dit que 100% des gens allaient voir ailleurs, ce qui est un peu déprimant, et j'avoue que je trouve ça moins romantique quand une relation amoureuse commence alors que l'un des partis est en
Un très bon Isabel Wolf! J'ai retrouvé la même atmosphère que dans "un amour vintage" de la même auteur. Ce n'est pas un coup de coeur pour moi mais j'ai vraiment beaucoup aimé! Un des meilleurs Isabel Wolff selon moi! Je mettrai juste un petit bémol pour les 20 dernières pages... je trouve la fin un peu "gnian gnian" et non réaliste, mais ce n'est pas grave, cela n'a pas réussi à gâcher ma lecture :) Je recommande ce roman de chicklit!
Very breezy, predictable novel about a woman learning about not just the secrets of her own past but that everyone around her has secrets. The details about painting make this stand out more than the usual romance, but I really disliked the idea that the main character could hook up with her sister's ex-fiance with absolutely no bad blood between them. Not to mention the ickiness factor of sleeping with a man who had sex with your sister.
This is a great book and one that hooked me right from the start and one that i could definitely read again. I really enjoyed reading about the different characters who were totally believable, and the family secrets that had been hidden for decades. I also really enjoyed the whole setting of painting portraits and reading about how that works. I can't wait to read Isabel Wolff's next book and hope I don't have to wait too long for it.
When portrait artist Ella is given the commission to paint her sister's fiance, Nate, she dreads it. She has hated Nate since the first time she met him. But she soon learns that she may have misjudged him - badly. In fact, she is about to find out that her opinion of Nate might not be the only thing in her life that she's been mistaken about. After all, secrets tend to come out while an artist is painting a portrait.

I loved this book. Just loved it. And after I had completely devoured it, I imm
I bought this book on impuls in a sale for just 2 euro because of the story: seeing someone through a painting.

I started reading and finished it in a single sitting. It's a fast and light read, about secrets, the living with them, the discovering of them and the consequences through various portraits of the main character, her family and the people she points.

I loved reading it. It had a little bit of everything. It had some funny moments, some teary ones and a little bit of romance. I must adm
Joanne Donato
I really enjoyed this book because there were many plot twists. The author kept me interested in the story line , which doesn't always happen while reading a book. This was the second book I read by Isabel Wolff.
I got through about 20 pages and said, "enough of this!" I thought I wanted something 'light' but this was not worth spending time on.
I agree with other reviewers that while this book was a bit above an average "chick-lit" book, the plot felt much too predictable and formulaic. I had a hard time buying the speed with which Ella went from hating Nate's guts to being head over heels in love with him. I also found Ella's mum to be very two-dimensional and unbelievable. While I understand as a mother myself the strong desire to protect one's children, the lengths she went to to not only hide, but recreate the truth was a bit over ...more
Like so many of the other reviews, what I enjoyed most about this novel were the stories that came from the "sitters".

"At thirty-five, Gabriella Graham—“Ella” to her family and friends—has already made a name for herself as a successful portrait artist in London. She can capture the essential truth in each of her subjects’ faces—a tilt of the chin, a glint in the eye—and immortalize it on canvas. This gift has earned Ella commissions from royals and regular folks alike. But closer to home, Ella
Feb 22, 2014 Berny rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
This book drew me in because of the description in the back, specially the part about seeing people as they are through a portrait, though even then I could sort of guess how the book was going to turn out.
The book begins with Ella being a painter and as the story progresses we learn about her difficult past and about the people that have commissioned portraits from her. This seems fine until the author attempts to bring a little mystery to the story by keeping "key" elements in order to unveil
Abria Mattina
This could have been a very formulaic book--the heroine falls in love with a man who's off limits; her best friend is quirky but supportive; old family secrets, etc. While some aspects of the book did seem a bit staid, Wolff manages to infuse the plot with originality through her attention to the main character, Ella, her mother, and her best friend Polly.

Ella has an interesting and successful career as a portrait painter, and I enjoyed learning about the world of an artist who deals specificall
As a successful portrait artist, Ella Graham has the opportunity daily to capture the very essence of the people she paints. After an ill-fated relationship her sister Chloe is now in the throws of newly found happiness with a man Ella despises, Nate. When their sudden engagement is announced Chloe would like nothing more than to have Ella paint Nate’s portrait. After countless hours together and the understanding that comes with talking they find that there may be more to their relationship. Wi ...more
SIMON Karine
J'ai découvert Isabel Wolff sur les conseils d'une amie, lors d'une période ou j'avais besoin de quelque chose de léger à lire. "Tout ton portrait !" n'est donc pas le premier roman de cette Auteure que je lis.

Si j'ai aprécié les précédements romans d'Isabel Wolf, j'ai tout simplement adoré son dernier opus. L'histoire est bien plus complexe qu'une simple histoire de chick-lit, même si on y retrouve certains ingrédients, je trouve que les sentiments y sont mieux décrits sans virer dans le mélodr
Ella Graham is 35-years old, single and leading a happy life as a portrait painter living in London. She enjoys what she does and because of her talent her career is taking off. As her younger half-sister Chloe announces her engagement and commissions Ella to paint a portrait of her fiancée, a man Ella does not like, Ella’s story starts to unfold. Going along on portrait sittings for various characters the reader learns a little about portraiture art and a lot about Ella. As her artistic fame gr ...more
Ricki Jill Treleaven
Sorry I am getting this post up so late. It has been an extremely busy day! This week I read The Very Picture of You by Isabel Wolff. This is an excellent beach/lake read, and the main character is a portrait artist, so I enjoyed it immensely. I did like it better than A Vintage Affair because I was not crazy about the ending.

Gabriella Graham (Ella for short) is an up and coming portrait artist in London. She recently painted the Dutchess of Cornwall for the National Gallery, and she is being fe
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Isabel Wolff's ten bestselling novels are published worldwide. 'Ghostwritten', set in present day Cornwall and on wartime Java, was published in the UK in March 2014 and will be published in the US in February 2015 as 'Shadows Over Paradise'. 'The Very Picture of You' was published in the UK and the US in October 2011. 'A Vintage Affair', was an 'Best of 2009' title and was shortliste ...more
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