"I'd heard about him but had never seen him, the foreigner with the funny name who wandered the countryside painting pictures."
From a talented new author comes a poignant and haunting novel of creation and desire, passion and madness, art and love.
A young prostitute seeking temporary refuge from the brothel, Rachel awakens in a beautiful garden in Arles to discove...more
Oooh, what I'd give to see one in real life. First time author and art historian Sheramy Bundrick takes a character who is a mere footnote in history - a prostitute by the name of Rachel was presented with Vincent Van Gogh's severed ear by the artist himself - and spins an artful (pun intended) tale around what-might-have-been. Told from the first person POV, Rachel awakes from a nap in a city garden to find a odd gentleman sketching her - and a new friendship begins that quickly turns to love -...more
I was impressed with the historic detail, interwoven with time periods and speculations about the paintings. The author researched this book by using documents and actual letters written by Vincent and his brother Theo. Great attention is paid to that historical accur...more
Van Gogh left his soul and spirit in the beauty and vividness of his paintings, and Bundrick builds her story around them and the many letters he wrote to his beloved brother Theo. Most ch...more
Sunflowers by Sheramy Bundrick
As I began reading this, it reminded me of Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. Sunflowers also explores one of the ‘what if’ theories behind a classic artist - in this case, Vincent van Gogh. However, as I read on, the chasm between the two books grew ever wider. Having finished Sunflowers, I would not equate it with Girl With A Pearl Earring, and at the risk of sounding nasty - Tracy Chevalier is a highly skilled novelist, Sheramy Bundrick...more
The novel is littered with imagery of Vincent's paintings, especially my f...more
We know all about the mythos of Van Gogh—how troubled he was; how plagued by a disorder that’s still under debate by scholars these days (hell, even I tried to diagnose him while reading this book); how (and this is something that strikes fea...more
I found the book a fascinating and very easy read. The author wrote in a way that took me past the written word and deposited me as a spectator into the scenes. She vividly painted, with words, the gardens and wh...more
This book comes off as some sort of dream a romance-ridden woman would come up with, like it was written in a journal (i.e. I had a dream about Van Gogh and I was a prostitute and...), it all seemed very contrived and Rachel, the main characters, reactions to things were a little d...more
The chapters begin with excerpts from Van Gogh's letters - those to his brother and f...more
SUNFLOWERS by Sheramy Bundrick is told from Rachel’s perspective and follows her relationship with Vincent from his time in Arles to Saint Rémy to Auvers with the latter parts of their relationship shown through their corresponden...more
The novel is simple in execution: you'll find no baroque lin...more
Also, I found the portrayals of Van Gogh's mental illness to be super unrealistic, like they were just a pastiche of bad cinematic portrayals of "things insane people do" (rocking o...more
It's clear how much passion, time, hard work, and dedication went into the creation of this novel. Obviously, it takes all of those components to write any good book, but Sunflowers particularly took years and years of research and commitment. Bundrick is passionate about both van Gogh and his work, and she meticulously recreated an ambiguous period of his life in a way that made him appear relatable and wholly human rather than just the grandiose, mysterious icon most people know him as.
The novel takes place in Arles, France, during 1888. Rachel wakes from a nap in a city garden to find “she is being sketched by a red-haired man in a yellow hat.” The two quickly becom...more
The novel is narrated by Rachel, a prostitute, and Van Gogh's girlfriend. It was a good story o...more
Most things I’ve read about Van Gogh focus on his ment...more
For a number of years I have been enamored by the work of Vincent Van Gogh in a way most unlike any other artist I have encountered. I decided to read this novel in preparation to attend a visiting exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Rather embarrassing as it is to admit, besides getting lost in his dissonant color palettes and the specter of the “ear” incident, I knew very little of his life.
In Bundrick’s book, a whole imagined world unfolds befor...more