William Nicholson The Trial of True Love Review

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Harriet Klausner's review of William Nicholson The Trial of True Love


“The Trial of True Love ”

Written on: 18/05/2006 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

The Trial of True Love

William Nicholson

Doubleday, Apr 2006, $18.95

ISBN: 0385516258

In 1977 Anna kicks out her former boyfriend thirty years old John "Bron" Dearborn from her London flat. With no place to stay he moves to the country to live in the home of his friend Bernard. While rusticating, Bron decides to write a book about true love, using the real life of renowned French postimpressionist artist Paul Marotte as his case study to prove its' existence; the painter fell in love at first sight with the woman who became his muse, English governess Kate Summer.

To his shock, Bron falls in love with Bernard's cousin, Flora, but when he confesses how he feels to her; Flora Freeman flees for the continent. He follows her to Amsterdam where he meets art dealer Freddy Christiansen, owner of some of Marotte letters and paintings and a friend of Flora. Freddy offers to help Bron win Flora's heart because of their mutual regard for Marotte.

This novel is an intriguing look at true love through the quest of Bron to find such. He chooses legendary couples predominately Marotte and Summer though clever references to other renowned couples like Bacall and Bogart show up to add spice to the tale. Though the ending seems too schmaltzy and simplistic for the complex THE TRIAL OF TRUE LOVE, the delightful somewhat naive Bron and his co-conspirator Freddy make for a fine look into whether true love exists and if it does how and when will you know?

Harriet Klausner

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