“A painting undermined my father.
And, as you will see by the end of my story, a painting nearly destroyed me.
Art is dangerous like that, an unruly thing….”
Kris’s newest book is a novel set during late Victorian England’s Aesthetic art movement—a seductive, beauty-obsessed world where the sinuous graces of peacock feathers and absinthe dreams hold more importance than a young woman’s life.
Inspired by Waterhouse’s beloved painting of the Lady of Shalott, THE LILY MAID tells the story of Elizabeth Sirini, the impoverished spinster daughter of a recently deceased professor. Desperate to make ends meet, she agrees to model as the Lady of Shalott for a charismatic artist and his wife. Initially, Elizabeth is disdainful of the artist and his circle. But, as the painting progresses, she becomes seduced by the power and wealth her role as muse brings. She is also disturbed to find life imitating art when a spiritualist photograph leads her to discover a mysterious tragedy involving the artist’s previous model.
Elizabeth’s obsession with discovering the truth about her predecessor bring secret histories and shifting loyalties to light. Love and artistic inspiration become a currency to be used and discarded at will, even if the gothic consequences include heartbreak.
more about this book:
THE LILY MAID recalls an era in English history dominated by beauty-obsessed artists, such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and James Whistler, whose greatest works were inspired by models who often harbored repressed aspirations of their own. The novel deftly captures the same spellbinding magic of Tracy Chevalier’s GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING and the intricate detail and obsessions of A.S. Byatt’s POSSESSION.