Midnight on St. James Court, at the heart of which is a foun­tain sculpture of Venus rising from the sea. Kathryn Callaghan has finished the first draft of her novel about Élisabeth Vigée-Le Brun, a survivor of the French Revolution who was hated for her ­sympathetic portraits of Marie Antoinette. Kathryn remains haunted by Élisabeth''s experiences, for the women possess similar gifts and burdens in life. And before the next midnight rolls around, Kathryn will have confronted danger as frightening as what Élisabeth faced. Each woman will be called and tested; each will, like Venus, rise ­triumphantly above the expectations of her world.
In this, her compelling and intimate ninth book, Sena Jeter Naslund presents an eye-opening alternate vision of The Artist: not an angry young man but a woman of age and hard-won experience who has created a fulfilling life of thoroughly realized achievement.