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The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  261 ratings  ·  71 reviews
A Tim Burtonesque retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray aimed at Middle Graders.

The most peculiar things always happen to Bryony Gray. As if it isn’t bad enough that her uncle keeps her locked in the attic, forcing her to paint for his rich clients, she’s becoming rather well known in the art world… since all her customers seem to go missing.

When her newest painting
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published February 13th 2018 by Penguin Random House
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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When I was in London, a number of years ago, I got turned around on Oxford Street. Oxford Street is a broad, straight road, in the center of London, well known for its shops. It was originally a Roman road, back when London was under Roman rule, and the Romans are well known for building straight roads, because that is the way they worked.

I bring this up because, although this novel never said when it took place, exactly, it is clear that a) it is taking place in London around the early 1900, a
Ivonne Rovira
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lovers of the unique
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
Psst! The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray proves a book in which it would be much too easy to say too much. Orphaned Bryony lives with her weak Uncle Bernard and his domineering, social-climbing wife, Gertrude. Like her disgraced father (about which nothing is said, although Bryony knows Uncle Bernard and Aunt Gertrude whisper about him and his rakish life), Bryony has an incredible gift for painting. But she also has a stubborn independent streak and a volcanic temper.

So, for the pa
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley

So I would classify this more as a 'middle grade sequel' to the Picture of Dorian Gray [a truly hilarious sentence when you stop to think about it] rather than a retelling because it is literally set after the original novel [although also in a world where Dorian Gray was apparently a real person that Oscar Wilde knew ...] with Bryony being Dorian's daughter.

Overall it's a really fun read. The way the author writes the paintings coming out of th
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book of the year so far! The premise of this story is so smart and creative. I love the way the author incorporated elements from THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. There is a creepy yet whimsical tone to the story that I couldn’t get enough of. The characters are enchanting, and I for one am hoping for more middle grade books from E. Latimer in the future!
B.A. Williamson
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic and wonderful read. Bryony Gray is a spirited girl in Victorian England. Her Aunt and Uncle keep her locked in the attic, where she's forced to paint portraits for the London gentry. He rportaits are wonderful and lifelike... too much so. The portraits come to life and start terrorizing the city. With the help of two quirky children from next door, Bryony must get to the bottom of the that plagues the Gray family, a curse brought upon them by her father... Dorian.

I loved this bo
Ms. Yingling
Copy provided by the publisher

Bryony Gray's mother is dead, and her father is probably as well, so she has been kept in the attic by her aunt and uncle, and forced to use her considerable artistic talent to paint portraits of the well-to-do to earn money. When the last three people who sit for her go missing, a huge scandal surrounds her work, but it also makes her more desirable as an artist. When other creepy things start happening with her paintings, Bryony is bound and determined to investig
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-net-galley
This book, targeted to the Middle-Grade reader, is an imaginative spin-off from Oscar Wilde's The Portrait of Dorian Gray. It's a clever enough idea but research issues and anachronisms kind of tanked my enjoyment of the book. Set around November 1901, (as discerned from a reference to Oscar Wilde's death being almost exactly a year ago, factually November 30th 1900), there are oddities that show a lack of research thoroughness on the part of the author and editor. While I get that children migh ...more
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chazzi by: Library Thing
Thirteen Bryony Gray has an exceptional talent for one her age - she can paint incredible portraits of people. Incredibly life-like!

She is being raised by her aunt and uncle, who know of this talent and keep her locked up and living in the attic. She is allowed downstairs when a rich client comes to sit for their portrait. She has become quite well known and her aunt and uncle are raking in the money, but Bryony wants to be free. She also wants to know about her parents and what is so scandalous
Sandra Stiles
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bryony Gray is an orphan who lives with her aunt and uncle. Her mother died when Bryony was very young and no one will speak about her father. She is locked in her aunt and uncle's attic where she spends her time painting portraits. She is quite the young prodigy. Lately, there have been terrible news articles connecting her paintings with the disappearance of those who sit for her. Considering her father was considered cursed, and no one wants to speak of him, Bryony must draw her own conclusio ...more
Jill Jemmett
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favourite Victorian novels. This is a great sequel to the story.

This story had great pacing. Bryony’s paintings began to come to life right at the beginning. It was so creepy! It kept me hooked through the whole story. I really couldn’t predict what was going to happen next, so I was always surprised.

I think this story is actually creepier than The Picture of Dorian Gray. Though it is a sequel, it follows Gray’s daughter, so it is for a younger audience. I
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this creepy and thoroughly enjoyable romp through London, Bryony Gray, a young artist contends with misbehaving mirrors, murderous paintings, and a wicked uncle. Along with the intriguing siblings next door, Bryony sets out to find her mysterious patron and investigate her family’s secrets. Can these young friends survive the living paintings on a rampage and the Gray family curse?

Beautifully written, you can really see the author’s love of literature throughout this book. Riddled with chilli
Amelinda Bérubé
Stylish, gothic, and occasionally terrifying, with a prickly, vulnerable heroine and some delightfully scary monsters. A great book to read under the covers with a flashlight. And - confession time - I haven't actually read THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, but this book makes me want to!
Kyra Nelson
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2018
I've loved this book since it was just a few pages my critique partner sent me ;)
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
It was fun to read about the imagined daughter of Dorian Grey. That said, this seemed lacking both in story and delivery.
Engel Dreizehn
ARC...copy deliciously dark (darker then most middle grade horrors I read actually) retelling/take on Dorian Grey (especially the themes of vanity-beauty), and imaginative in the artistic-world building of the "painted" Grey family curse. It felt especially creepy when the portraits do come to murderous life in creepy imagery right to their painted faces and killer smirks.
Kristin Thorsness
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a delightfully creepy read. Beautifully written with enough twists to keep my flipping the pages.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this ARC from penguin random house

Woohoo my first book of 2018! I greatly enjoyed this book. I loved Bryony. She was a wonderful lead character. I especially liked her friendship with Thomas and Myra. This was a very well written book with a very interesting storyline. 4 stars all day long!
Kristen McDermott
My review of this book appears in Historical Novels Review 84 (May 2018):

Described as “Lemony Snicket meets Oscar Wilde meets Edgar Allan Poe,” this supernatural adventure for middle-grade readers is not quite witty or gothic enough to live up to its billing.

Set in an approximate version of 1901 London, the story of Bryony Gray’s discovery of her family ties to the Dorian of Wilde’s horror tale offers plenty of potentially entertaining elements: an artistic prodigy, a family of cheerful morticia
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
What a delightful and exciting read. I had not known what to expect when I started reading, but I certainly had not anticipated how much I would enjoy this book.

It’s an engaging, interesting, story line, with compelling characters. I'll want to keep an eye out for more books by this author.

I received this ebook from netgalley for my honest opinion.
Jessica Harrison
After multiple attempts, I just couldn't get into this book. More than 50 pages in, and I still didn't care for any of the characters. The writing style was a little stilted for me as well. I give myself a certain percentage with every book that I have to read. After I reach that point, and I'm still struggling, I move on. That's what I did here.
May 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-years, myrca
It took me forever to finish this book. I just couldn’t get into it. I plan to revisit over the summer and see if the second time around is more engaging.
Michelle (FabBookReviews)

When I saw the great cover and read the blurb for E. Latimer's The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray I thought it sounded terrifically spooky and added it to my reading list. A gothic historically-set middle grade novel, inspired by Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray? Count me in! More sinister and more fantastical than I imagined, Latimer's novel is a surprising treat.

The novel opens with a prologue that takes us into the extravagant, lush and self-indulgent life of Lady Dashwor
Bran Pendergrass
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-netgalley
I absolutely adored this frighteningly scary new take on Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray; which is also one of my favorite classic tales that reread often! The creations that came alive in the story were straight from your worst nightmare. The things that you collect and use to show your stature in society come to life to murder you outright or suck your vitality dry! The way that the author describes in stark detail the portraits coming to life and crawling through the canvas was so o ...more
The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray is a fresh take on Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray aimed at a middle grade audience. When I first heard of this novel, I was ecstatic and eager to read it. In London, in the late eighteen hundreds, there have been strange disappearances of prominent noblemen and ladies who have had their portraits painted by the mysterious prodigy, Bryony Gray. Bryony’s art takes London by storm, meanwhile, Bryony is held captive by her aunt and uncle an ...more
Debra Goelz
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray is one of the most fun and well-crafted middle grade books I've read in a long while. The story is essentially—"What if Dorian Gray, (from Oscar Wilde's The Portrait of Dorian Gray) had a daughter who inherited his curse?

The answer: Utter mayhem on the streets, in the tearooms, museums, and drawing rooms of London!

At the beginning of the story, Bryony Gray is a prisoner of her evil aunt and uncle. She's a brilliant portrait painter but is locked i
Oct 17, 2020 rated it liked it
This book, about a young painter, locked in her attic and forced to paint for her aunt and uncle, was an enjoyable read but somehow I didn't "love" it.

Byrony Gray is the daughter of the fictional Dorian Gray from Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray." When she paints a portrait, at the bidding of her aunt and uncle, Byrony's painting-ruining tantrum causes it, and others like it, to come to life and not in a good way.

One thing I had trouble understanding in this book, was why was the daug
Amy (novelteahappyme)
Although there are lots of great Red Maple Fiction titles nominated this year as part of the 2019 Forest of Reading program run by the Ontario Library Association, "The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray" by E. Latimer is one that I’ve been curious about since it came out last year. I’m a sucker for stories set in Victorian London as well as anything slightly spooky so a book about evil paintings coming to life sounded like a perfect choice.

The first thing I realized while reading is th
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bryony Gray is very quickly becoming a well-known painter in London, but her life is anything but glamorous. Her wicked uncle keeps her locked in the attic, making her paint portraits for his wealthy friends. Something bizarre is happening now and her paintings are strangling coming to life. While researching her family history, Bryony uncovers some disturbing family secrets and, in the process, unlocks an old, horrifying family curse.

With the help of her friends, Bryony is determined to discov
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E. Latimer is the author of The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray.

Her second book, Witches of Ash and Ruin, comes out from Disney Freeform on March 3rd, 2020.

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