“Tis a small canvas, this Boston,” muses Stewart Jameson, a Scottish portrait painter who, having fled his debtors in Edinburgh, has washed up on America’s far shores. Eager to begin anew in this new world, he advertises for an apprentice, but the lad who comes knocking is no lad at all. Fanny Easton is a lady in disguise, a young, fallen woman from Boston’s most prominent...more
And the ...more
Fortunately, "Blindspot" is not only well-researched but also entertaining. This semi-epistolary novel finds portrait painter Stewart Jameson newly arrived in Boston on the eve of the American Revolution. His ad for an apprentice is answered by one "Francis W ...more
Sometimes, the book has been on my to-read list for a year or more. Sometimes a friend just mentioned it. Nine times out of ten, I have absolutely no idea why I flagged it as a book of interest.
So, Blindspot stunned me a little. It's historical fiction, set in Boston before the Revolutio ...more
The tale told here is complicated: a woman of stature but fallen from grace takes a painting apprentice position but must dress as a boy to do so; the painter is a runaway debtor, newly arrived in New England; the painter's friend is an educated black man who was sold in to slavery and escapes to his friend; a murder takes place, a slave is blamed and a mystery ensues; the beginnings of the American Revolution are the backdrop for this all.
The story is vividly told, t ...more
Okay, if you've read a lot of Jane Austen and other 18th/19th century stuff, and you've laughed your way through some romance novels, and you like slave narratives, and you like detective fiction, and you have some fascination with pre-Revolutionary War Boston and enjoy a good historical novel, and you like things to be structured in diary entries and letters, then this book might be for you. Oh, did I mention the whole genderbendy part, with a woman disguised as a boy falling in lurv ...more
I have to say, it's not my usual genre. I honestly picked it up because it was a free advance copy, and now I feel like I want to go buy another copy just to encourage these authors to write more. Yes, the way it turned into a romance novel toward the end was a bit much and unnecessary, and I'm still not certain how I feel about the ending, but it was so very worth reading that I don't mind.
It was one of the only books I've ever read where, when finished, I had to seriously st ...more
Perhaps, I am simply not a fan of novels written in period dialect, but the only thing that compelled me to finish reading the book was the plot.
What else is there you ask? For me, it is a matter of good writing. Not to say that these two women are not good writers, I simply found it long and drudging to plow through. Where the over all plot line not as compelling as it was, I woul ...more
I was bored and/or annoyed every time the slave Alexander opened his ...more
I definitely enjoyed the frippery, puffery, bosh and flimshaw, the bawdy wit, and the constant use of the (probably-fictional) period adjective "shitten". Although, after several chapters, the perpetual obvious "Tis what she said" puns grew awfully tiresome. I definitely did NOT enjoy the too-modern/self-aware/PC opinions of t ...more
Overall I enjoyed this book. I did have a few problems with it: Jameson's chapters (especially in the beginning) were uneven, the book often falls into an awareness of its own existence and can be quite meta, and the main tension that carries the action through 3/4 ...more
As Jameson starts to sort his way out in Boston, he finds his painters apprentice in Francis ...more
The setting of the story was wonderful, the authors description of Boston during the time was interesting and very vivid in my opinion. It may have helped that I recently watched the John Adams mini-series, so Boston and the area (of Revolutionary time) was still ...more
Both are talented artists, which is how their stories end up intertwined: Jameson advertises for an apprentice in the local ...more