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24712104,432 (3.46)2
In mid-nineteenth-century London, young, mistreated, and destitute Ivy, whose main asset is her beautiful red hair, comes to the attention of an aspiring painter of the pre-Raphaelite school of artists who, with the connivance of Ivy's unsavory family, is determined to make her his model and muse.

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
An unusual book, for sure. Somewhat Dickensian, but it feels more modern.

The writing was fast-paced, witty and clever. A very enjoyable read. ( )
  dkhiggin | Jun 25, 2017 |
This was a good book. Was an interesting read, however it was very confusing. The character development made it easy to understand most of the character's and their personalities. The one character that I never understood, however, was the main character Ivy. She did have a past that was never fully understood or explained, and she would make decisions and take courses of action that I never thought that she would. This confusion made the book much less appealing. Also, the ending of the book was very sudden and no one knew exactly what she had decided to do. She got from one place at the end of the book, to another in the epilogue and it was not explained how she got there. I felt as if her character development was still in process at the end and the manner in which she got from the one position in life to the other would have helped to fully develop her. Still a decent read. ( )
  theadawn | Apr 28, 2012 |
* An interesting though not perfect historical novel set in Victorian London. Split into two parts we follow Ivy as a child, when she finds herself taken up by a band of thieves, and then later as an older girl when she becomes a model for an aspiring Pre-Raphaelite painter.
* I enjoyed the descriptions of Victorian London, and the book was more humourous than I expected. Watch out for the episode where the lady do-gooders venture into the slums on the look out for children to help, and the painter oblivious to the discomfort of his models.

* I didn't find Ivy a particularly likeable character, and as a result didn't feel all that bothered about what happened to her.
* Several of the characters (Ivy's family, the painter and his mother) felt a little like charicatures which made me feel as if the historical aspects of the book didn't quite ring true.

* I wanted to enjoy this, as I had liked Rowan the Strange but it just didn't quite do it for me. ( )
1 vote CaroTheLibrarian | Dec 20, 2010 |
Sometimes a girl just needs a really good work of historical fiction to ease her hectic life. Ivy by Julie Hearn was exactly what the doctor prescribed. First, there is the gorgeous cover, which actually kind of threw me. I went into the book expecting some sort of romance, just because there was a woman on the cover. Silly me. What I got in return was something much better.A quick summary before I begin to cover this book in laurels, Ivy is basically about a girl named Ivy who has been shafted by life. She was an orphan, then she went to live with some evil relatives, becomes a street criminal, picks up an addiction, and later becomes an artists model. Oh and did I mention it is set in Industrial-Era England. Oh fuck yes.I am a glutton for characters. The characters in this book are quite intriguing, there is Carroty Kate, who is sort of like Fagin in Oliver Twist, and by Oliver Twist, I actually mean the Disney film Oliver And Company. Ivy is interesting too, she's not at all what I thought she would have been. Not one bit.When it comes to prose, yes I can put up with crappy writing if it means action (I did actually like Twilight at first, after all). Hearn's writing, however, is not crappy. Actually I was quite engaged by her prose. I definitely used time I should have spent planning lessons reading this book instead. Yes, yes priorities, what are they? Despite the lack of a heartthrob (heartthrobs make me tear up when they do adorable things), I still got all weepy at the end, because I truly am a glass case of emotion.What, pray tell, did I learn from this book? Well, laudanum is a drug that makes you tired. Life as an Orphan in Industrial Era England sucks, you will fall into a crowd of seedy people, because damn it that is how it works in books. Books that are somewhat reminiscent of Charles Dickens minus hundred year old wedding cakes and singing orphans make me feel full of joy. ( )
2 vote booksandwine | Oct 7, 2010 |
Set in London in the 1800 or 1900s, we find our main character as an orphan taken in by her Aunt's family. I simply could not put this book down. I simply fell in love with the character, the setting and the plot. What could have been turned into a budding romance tale, turned into a tale about a young woman who wants to find her place in society and to simply be happy. I love the way the author wrote the story, with accents obvious and I could literally see players in a play or a movie reeling throughout the whole book. It was a marvelous book and I hope to read more by her. ( )
  knielsen83 | Mar 5, 2009 |
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One face looks out from all his canvasses,

One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans;

We found her hidden just behind those screens,

That mirror gave back all her loveliness.

A queen in opal or in ruby dress,

A nameless girl in freshest summer greens,

A saint, an angel; -- every canvas means

The same one meaning, neither more nor less.

He feeds upon her face by day and night,

And she with true kind eyes looks back on him

Fair as the moon and joyful as the light.

-- from "In an Artist's Studio" by Christina G. Rosetti
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Mum and Dad,
with love
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When she was born her father took one look at her and spat into a corner.
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In mid-nineteenth-century London, young, mistreated, and destitute Ivy, whose main asset is her beautiful red hair, comes to the attention of an aspiring painter of the pre-Raphaelite school of artists who, with the connivance of Ivy's unsavory family, is determined to make her his model and muse.

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