The Lady with the Dark Hair

By Erin Bartels

Author Erin Bartels is an award-winning author of several novels. A two-time Christy finalist and winner of two 2020 WFWA Star Awards and the 2020 Michigan Notable Book Award, Erin has been a publishing professional for more than twenty years. See the Product Description below for details about this book. Please buy all of your books directly from the author or an independent Michigan bookstore.

Buy book or more from Schuler Books in Grand Rapids

Product Price $17.99

Product Description

This dual-timeline story takes you on a captivating journey across time and continents, where past and present converge in a relentless search for truth, identity, and the freedom to follow one’s dreams.

In Toulouse, France, circa 1879, Catalan orphan-turned-fugitive, Viviana Torrens, has found sanctuary serving in the home of an aging artist in Southern France. It is in his studio that she meets Francisco Vella, a Gibraltarian merchant who sells artists’ pigments. When her past catches up to her, she is compelled to pose as Vella’s sister and join him on his travels or be deported back to Spain to stand trial. Along the way she will discover that the many parts she has been playing in order to hide her identity have far-reaching implications she never could have foreseen.

More than a century later in present day East Lansing, Michigan, Esther Markstrom and her artist mother have always been proud of their ancestor, painter Francisco Vella. They even run a small museum and gallery dedicated to raising awareness of his scandalously underappreciated work. But when Esther reconnects with her former art history professor, she finds her once-solid family history on shaky ground as questions arise about Vella’s greatest work—a portrait entitled The Lady with the Dark Hair.

If your mom loves a little history with her mystery, she will devour this book.