The Last van Gogh by Alyson Richman
Hostess- Verna Sheldon
Summer, 1890. Van Gogh arrives at Auvers-sur-Oise, a bucolic French village that lures city artists to the country. It is here that twenty-year-old Maurguerite Gachet has grown up, attending to her father and brother ever since her mother’s death. And it is here that Vincent Van Gogh will spend his last summer, under the care of Doctor Gachet – homeopathic doctor, dilettante painter, and collector. In these last days of his life, Van Gogh will create over 70 paintings, two of them portraits of Marguerite Gachet. But little does he know that, while capturing Marguerite and her garden on canvas, he will also capture her heart. Both a love story and historical novel, The Last Van Gogh recreates the final months of Vincent’s life – and the tragic relationship between a young girl brimming with hope and an artist teetering on despair.
A Note from Verna Sheldon
What a wonderful and informative book club meeting we had on Tuesday, February 7, 2023. Our book club meeting was such a stimulating, and at times really exciting, discussion of Alyson Richman’s book “The Last van Gogh”. We covered many topics relevant to the theme, persons, cultural environment, era and most importantly the art produced by Vincent van Gogh in this last period of his life. There are many unknown facts surrounding Vincent’s last days and sudden death, so the author had plenty of opportunity to create a credible alternative fiction for these final days… was Dr. Gachet and even members of his family complicit in any way, how did Vincent get shot when no gun was found, did the “tinctures” that Dr. Gachet prescribed contribute to Vincent’s manic productivity, did Vincent know about Theo’s terminal illness … We shared prints and books displaying the paintings of Dr. Gachet and his daughter Marguerite, and many others, and thanks to Vincent’s sister-in-law who, after both he and Theo (only six months later) died, organized and donated all of Vincent’s letters in her possession. These letters and related paintings can now be freely viewed on-line worldwide! (www.vangoghletter.org; www.vggallery,com, and www.openculture.com) Our group rated the book 4.6 on a 1 to 5 scale, 5 being the best.
Our next book will be “The Muralist” by B. A. Shapiro. It is an intriguing mystery novel that will no doubt spark much discussion, too. Our next meeting will be:
March 7, 2023. Time and location to be confirmed.
A Note from Lee Asta
I loved your organization and enthusiasm for the book and the subject of the book!!!!i I ENJOYED THE FACT THAT YOU ALSO BROUGHT IN BOOKS ABOUT VAN GOGH THAT YOU RECOMMENDED AS WELL AS PICTURES OF THE SUBJECTS OF RICHMAN’S BOOK.
I am totally hooked on Alyson Richman and her books and have already read two more of her books that I also enjoyed.
Plans are being worked on for our NOVEMBER BOOK CLUB (FIRST TUESDAY) to read another of her books, which I have asked her (Alyson) to recommend. We may also be able to ZOOM with the Author during that meeting…. exciting things ARE DEVELOPING FOR ANOTHER EXCITING READING CLUB MEETING.
SAVE THE DATE AND…………. STAY TUNED!!!!