The Marriage of Opposites
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things: a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro; the Father of Impressionism.

Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel's salvation is their maid Adelle's belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle's daughter. But Rachel's life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father's business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Fréderick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.

Building on the triumphs of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, set in a world of almost unimaginable beauty, The Marriage of Opposites showcases the beloved, bestselling Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Fréderick is a story that is as unforgettable as it is remarkable.

The Marriage of Opposites Details

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The Marriage of Opposites Reviews

  • Connie
    Oct 9, 2016


    The exotic Caribbean island of St Thomas in the early 1800s is the setting for "The Marriage of Opposites". The story centers on Rachel Pomie Petit Pizzarro, the headstrong and passionate mother of the Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro (who changed the spelling of his last name). ...

  • Jeannie
    Sep 22, 2016


    4.5 What beautiful writing! This book is about the painter Camille Pissarro, I had never heard of him before. It sent me to google so that I could see the paintings he had done. I highly recommend this book to those who love historical fiction. The writing is almost poetic in parts. I ...

  • Myrna
    Aug 14, 2016


    Great historical fiction novel of Pissarro and his family. Liked the Caribbean setting, characters, friendships, and I learned a few thing too. ...

  • Dana
    Jun 24, 2016


    Richly layered like a Pissarro painting, The Marriage of Opposites is mesmerizing and hypnotic. I listened to the audio version and decided to download the Kindle version just to SEE the words. I felt as if I'd been transported to another time the entire time I was reading this book. I...

  • Cathrine ☯
    Jun 8, 2016

    Cathrine ☯

    4.5This is a completely biased and prejudicial review from an avowed Alice Hoffman fan.She describes “purple air smelling of hyacinths”, a blue eyed woman “whose soul was as quiet as snow”, and a dress made from dyes of heron and midnight blues, with pale lilac so f...

  • Paige P
    May 18, 2016

    Paige P

    The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman combines the factual history of Rachel Monsanto Pomie Petit Pizzarro, a Jewish woman, born in 1795 on the island of St. Thomas. True to Alice Hoffman's style, a hue of magical realism is blended into Rachel's unusual life story. Rachel's first...

  • Jennifer
    May 14, 2016


    Awash with as much color and depth as as Pissaro painting, Alice Hoffman's "The Marriage of Opposites" tells the story of three generations of a family living in St. Thomas, including the famous painter Camille Pissaro.With lyrical prose, Hoffman engages readers with multi-dimensional ...

  • Anna
    Jan 11, 2016


    It was really hard to put down this book! It really deserves to be included in the best / favorite books of the year.“Then I understood that when someone begins to tell you her story, you are entwined together. Perhaps even more so if the ending hasn't been divulged. It was exactl...

  • Iris  Pereyra
    Dec 11, 2015

    Iris Pereyra

    WARNING MY REVIEW CONTAINS PLENTY OF SPOILERS!The Marriage of Oppositesop·po·site ˈäpəzət/noun plural noun: oppositesa person or thing that is totally different from or the reverse of someone or something else. "My father had told me that no matter how comfortable we ...

  • Karen
    Nov 22, 2015


    I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, while reading it I did not know it was based on a true story.I loved Rachel and the parts of the story centered on her the most.I really enjoyed all the parts that took place on St Thomas, and the mysticism incorporated into this novel. ...