I finished the historical fiction novel The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau, a new to me author.
First sentence: Amiability has never been counted more important in a woman's character than it is today."
"In eighteenth-century London, porcelain is the most seductive of commodities; fortunes are made and lost upon it. Kings do battle with knights and knaves for possession of the finest pieces and the secrets of their manufacture.
For Genevieve Planché, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees, porcelain holds far less allure; she wants to be an artist, a painter of international repute, but nobody takes the idea of a female artist seriously in London. If only she could reach Venice.
When Genevieve meets the charming Sir Gabriel Courtenay, he offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse; if she learns the secrets of porcelain, he will send her to Venice. But in particular, she must learn the secrets of the colour blue…
The ensuing events take Genevieve deep into England’s emerging industrial heartlands, where not only does she learn about porcelain, but also about the art of industrial espionage.
With the heart and spirit of her Huguenot ancestors, Genevieve faces her challenges head on, but how much is she willing to suffer in pursuit and protection of the colour blue?"
I really wanted to love this story, but didn't. She was way to amiable. I felt like the main character was a victim of circumstance, never growing, naïve, going along while every one else around her – the men – solved the problems. It is the 18th century after all. The latter half of the story was a disappointment with Thomas being the one that did all the heavy lifting, so they could have their happily ever after.
Dusty, new to me, historical fiction, ebook.