The Lost Notebook of Édouard Manet Summary and Reviews

The Lost Notebook of Édouard Manet

A Novel

by Maureen Gibbon

The Lost Notebook of Édouard Manet by Maureen Gibbon X
The Lost Notebook of Édouard Manet by Maureen Gibbon
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Book Summary

A sensual portrait of Manet's last years, and a vibrant testament to the endurance of the artistic spirit.

Suffering from the complications of syphilis toward the end of his life, Édouard Manet begins to jot down his daily impressions, reflections, and memories in a notebook. Between healing respites in the French countryside and holding court in his Paris studio, he finds inspiration in nature―a cloud of dragonflies, peonies blanketed by the morning dew―and in the ocean-blue eyes of his muse, Suzon. Entranced by Suzon, he decides to paint his final masterpiece, "A Bar at the Folies-Bergere", life-sized―wagering his health in the process. In this stunningly original work of historical fiction, illustrated with Manet's own sketches, Maureen Gibbon offers an indelible snapshot of genius, illness, and the dying embers of passion.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Like one of the master's paintings, The Lost Notebook of Édouard Manet is universal in ambition, delicate in sensibility, and intimate in scope. In other words, this book is a miracle." - Rabih Alameddine

This information about The Lost Notebook of Édouard Manet shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Leslie R. (Arlington, VA)

Art, History, Philosophy
If you have a modicum of curiosity, you will read this book with your computer by your side. I took French in college as well as Art Appreciation, but I still spent hours looking up information on people, places, and events that were integral to Manet's story. The entire novel is indeed page after page of Manet's notebook, and I found it fascinating. The perspectives that he offers on growing old, dealing with illness, finding pleasure in small things, and reacting to praise and criticism are both interesting and thought-provoking. I can highly recommend this book to those who want to expand their reading horizons.

Wanda G. (Minnetonka, MN)

Manet's Diary (Novel)
Being a student of the Impressionists I looked forward to this read. I sometimes felt I was reading about Van Gogh for some reason although he and Manet had different problems. Gibbon's gave us some great ideas to dwell on which I sometimes needed to reread and think about, like one can love many things such as even carrots. Although my father said how can you love carrots. And then the idea of always comparing everything. Just take it for what it is and look at the good things about them or it.

I really like Manet's paintings, wishing he could have lived longer. Interesting the way Gibbon has the novel in diary form and it is a quick read, if one doesn't stop too often to think about some of the profound statements.

Very appealing book cover. Book covers do mean a lot when shopping for my next read.

Virginia P. (Tallahassee, FL)

The Lost Notebook of Edouard Manet
For those who like imaginary thoughts about an actual person's life, they will like this book. As I prefer factual accounts, I prefer biographies. That being said, perhaps the prospective reader can make a decision on whether or not to read the book. The diary did give the flavor of France along with that of the artist and his work.

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Author Information

Maureen Gibbon

Maureen Gibbon is the author of Paris Red, Thief, and Swimming Sweet Arrow. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the New York Times, Literary Hub, Playboy, and other publications. Gibbon resides in northern Minnesota.

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