Margery Williams is remembered as the author of one of the most beloved of children's books, The Velveteen Daughter, but rarely as the mother of child prodigy artist Pamela Bianco. From an early age Pamela mixes with the luminaries of the art world in Europe and New York, but there is a price to pay for her genius and Margery's support will prove to be an integral component of her life.
Based on extensive research, this beautifully crafted novel set in the early 20th century touches base with many of the writers and artists of the time and lays bare the true story of an extraordinary family.
Enjoyable book - a real insight to mental health especially of talented people. The controlling father would not have helped, nor the enabling mother. Only one of us found it "OK".
The group all enjoyed the book and it brought lots of interesting discussion.
Our group enjoyed it, some more than others. An insight into depression and an obsessive controlling father. A child who did not know her real childhood, therefore how to make decisions on her own. Short chapters kept it punchy and interesting.
Most enjoyed the book, a couple could not finish reading it as they were not interested in it. Those that did read it, found it a very interesting read, especially the relationship with her parents and how she lost her childhood by becoming famous at a young age.
Most enjoyed this book and also the writing style.
A fascinating read.
Most loved it, especially the language and the short chapters, you just had to keep reading about Pamela and her amazing talent. It was interesting to see some of her work featured at the back of the book. Her Mum, Marjorie, was also interesting to read about. I got 'The Velveteen Rabbit' out from the library for the girls to look at.
A fascinating story. We enjoyed looking up all the paintings and the characters written about. Slightly confusing style - jumping in time and character.
A story that covers art, literature, history and biographies of some famous and intriguing personalities. Plenty of discussion prompts. A well told story. Recommended by our group.
Enjoyed by all.
We all loved it - very easy read with short chapters. Intricate weaving of the relationship between daughter and mother and father, and a historical true story.
Interesting to learn some background to the family of the author of The Velveteen Rabbit. We discussed the challenges and blessings of giftedness.
Half of the group enjoyed this - the other half were not convinced by the true story/fiction mix. It was a well-written story - we all wanted to 'find out' how it would be resolved.
Well received by group.
The group very much enjoyed the content and format of this book. It generated a lot of discussion about the management of mental health, and the pressure put on "gifted" youth.
A mesmerising read, deeply thoughtful. An engaging book that stays in the mind.
No-one was enthusiastic about this book although we agreed that the story of Pamela Bianco was interesting. We found the short chapters switching from mother to daughter unsatisfactory and neither character really came to life for us. The mixture of fact, based on much research, and creative imagination left us wanting either fact or fiction, not this mixture.
This book created a lot of discussion regarding mental health and parental control, including those who live through their children. There was sympathy for Margery balancing the needs of husband and daughter after negating her own needs. We felt her writing was her escape.
The majority of the group really liked the book. A book beautifully written about two amazing women. We liked the book construction, with short chapters alternating between mother and daughter.
Most of the group enjoyed the book, although they weren't so happy with the moving backwards and forwards as they lost track of the times.
Fascinating and worthwhile read.
We thought this was a well-written book with lots of research obviously done. A great insight into the working of a brain with mental health issues. Some loved it and some found it very sad, but still enjoyed by all.
We found this book interesting. Characters were well developed. The story prompted some of us to do further research into Pamela and Margery.
A fascinating story, well researched. The structure was clumsy and the jumping from time periods often left the reader with a dislocated sense of the narrative. The second half flowed better. Otherwise a great read overall with well crafted characters.