London. 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment - forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning. When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love. But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening
First thing I noticed was the amazing cover, even the inside of the cover had butterflies on it. I started the book and couldn't put it down, I had force myself to stop reading about half way through so I could get some sleep before work the next day.
I really liked how well the characters were described. My favourite character was probably Iris as she was the main character but also the one with the most detail, she had dreams and she wasn't going to let anyone stand in her way. In the beginning I was reading to see if she would find love and then when she did I was reading with interest to see if she would actually act upon her feelings. The author did a great job of describing the characters, I felt sorry for Rose as she was stuck in a unhappy place in her life and I didn't mind Silas in the beginning as he seemed harmless but the more I read the more I started to dislike him especially when his past was revealed. I think that there are some parts of the story that could have been left to our imaginations as they didn't add to the story but made me dislike Silas even more.
I'm not 100 % happy with the ending as I'm not sure what happens next. Does Iris get her happy ending or is this just something I'm going to have to accept is unresolved, I like knowing how things end and such a sudden ending just doesn't sit right in my mind.
I enjoyed the book but not everyone will agree with me, it is a dark book covering both happy and dark subjects and I would be careful about letting young people read this as it might give nightmares.
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