This is a book about the relationship artist Vincent Van Gogh had with a prostitute and her daughter and son. Based partly on fact too, this does a good job of making Vincent seem human and less like the guy that chopped off his own ear. It’s written from the perspective of the daughter as a child and that gives this an innocent portrayal, instead of one that could have dramatized the details that we do know of Vincent and his life. The writing is well polished and the pace doesn’t let up, so this doesn’t become boring at all. The ending is satisfying too and a nice way of finishing the book. On reflection, I don’t feel this has made an impact on me.
What has it been, two, three weeks since I read this? It has made an impact. I think about Vincent and his dedication to his art, even to the unhappiness of those he loves around him. He wants to spend his money on the materials to paint, not food! His love for his partner too, despite what people thought about her being a prostitute, and Vincent remaining with her is, is really the only thing I like about him. He seems cowardly and the girl that narrates this book has more bite to her. It is sad to think of our heroes as anything less than heroic. But then there is nothing heroic about mental health problems and that is indeed what dogged Vincent. The heroes are those that do not give in and eventually Vincent must have felt like he had had enough.