Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Rainbow Bridge by Aubrey Flegg

Author: Aubrey Flegg
ISBN # 0862789176
Publisher: O’Brien Press
First Published: 2004
269 pages

Over a century has elapsed since Louise sat for her portrait. The painting has passed from person to person, unsigned and unvalued. Then, in 1792, as Revolution sweeps through France, Gaston Morteau, a lieutenant in the Hussars, rescues the canvas from a canal in Holland. Louise becomes a very real presence in Gaston's life, sharing his experiences -- the trauma of war, his meeting with Napoleon. When events force Gaston to give up the painting to the sinister Count du Bois, Louise becomes embroiled in a tale of political intrigue and Gothic horror. In the ashes of the Delft explosion, Louise made a choice for life. Now she has to face the realities of love, loss and pain that this life brings.

Set during the French Revolution, the second in The Louise Trilogy is packed with the excitement, danger and trauma of war as well as taking a look at the people left at home, away from the battlefield. Despite being the second in a trilogy, The Rainbow Bridge can easily be read and enjoyed without having previously read its prequel, with no loss of enjoyment or understanding of the plot.

Even when dealing with the universal themes of love, loss, pain and hardship, this is surprisingly upbeat and hopeful, never becoming maudlin or trite, and instead is an engaging tale of changing relationships and survival during a time of great upheaval that would change France forever.

Rating: 7


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