Louise and Vincent

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Pub Date 15 Aug 2023 | Archive Date 01 Dec 2023

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French innkeeper Louise Ravoux is struggling to keep her inn afloat while raising her two daughters and avoiding her abusive husband. One afternoon, a scruffy redheaded painter walks in, wanting to rent a room. Vincent van Gogh reminds her of her first love, and he has the most arresting eyes of anyone she’s ever seen. Though attracted to Vincent, Louise still bears the scars her husband gave her the only time she flirted with a man during their marriage. Still, something about Vincent makes her feel alive, and when she sees him painting outside, she stops to admire his work.

Louise gathers her courage and asks Vincent to give her painting lessons, and he agrees. She soon realizes that art and this man are calling her to change her life. Because of her husband’s temper and propensity for violence, Louise walks a dangerous path, but she’s determined to do whatever it takes to find a meaningful life and experience love.

Both a love story and a chronicle of a woman’s awakening, Louise and Vincent richly portrays the last months of one of the most iconic artists in history.

French innkeeper Louise Ravoux is struggling to keep her inn afloat while raising her two daughters and avoiding her abusive husband. One afternoon, a scruffy redheaded painter walks in, wanting to...

Advance Praise

Louise and Vincent is a beautifully written and emotionally resonant novel that skillfully weaves together the lives of two captivating characters. Byington's thoughtful portrayal of Vincent van Gogh's final days makes this book a must-read for fans of historical fiction and art enthusiasts alike. Louise and Vincent is certainly worthy of five vibrant and deeply textured stars. -- USA Today Bestselling Author Kelly Stone Gamble

Louise and Vincent is a delightful story that gives some joy to van Gogh's last months. It's the best of women's fiction in that Louise pulls herself out of her misery and reawakens her joie de vivre; it's also the best of historical fiction, a lovely blend of well-documented facts and fiction. I enjoyed reading it in one sitting. -- Suanne Schafer, The Midwest Review and award-winning author of Hunting the Devil and A Different Kind of Fire 

Louise and Vincent is a beautifully written and emotionally resonant novel that skillfully weaves together the lives of two captivating characters. Byington's thoughtful portrayal of Vincent van...

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ISBN 9781958231227
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Featured Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, "Louise and Vincent." I was hooked right from the start. I was completely intrigued by the love affair between Louise and Vincent. I also found myself extremely angry with Louise's home life. The author, Diane Byington, did a fantastic job of relating what it was like for a female living in France in the late 1800's. Woman had to be particularly careful about how they acted and portrayed themselves to everyone around them. I'm normally not a fan of infidelity in a marriage, but at that time there was no way out of a marriage even if there was abuse involved. My heart ached for Louise and I found myself rooting for her affair with Vincent. I was also happy to see so much of Vincent's artwork discussed throughout the story. He was truly a mastermind. I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction with a beautiful love affair weaved throughout the story.

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A grateful thank you to NetGalley for allowing me the privilege of reading this wonderful novel about Vincent Van Gogh's last 70 days before he died.

I am a lover of his artwork and have been to the museum in Amsterdam as well as the traveling immersive experience show in the US. I had no idea that it wasn't until after his death that his first painting was sold.

This was the story of Vincent's time as a boarder in Auberge Ravoux,located north of Paris in the small town of Auvers-sur-Oise known for summer tourists and aspiring artists. While this is a work of fiction, there are numerous details of Vincent's brother, Theo and his doctor.

I really recommend this book!

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A beautiful love story and unique perspective and thought piece on Vincent’s life. An interesting read that is captivating.

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Louise and Vincent is a fictionalized version of the final seventy days of Vincent van Gogh, an artist who has always captivated and fascinated me. Anyone with any knowledge of the end of van Gogh 's life can tell that the author did her due diligence in researching.
But what captivated me, more than anything, was our narrator and protagonist, Louise. I adored watching her strengthen and blossom with the love of Vincent. Her voice hooked me from the beginning, and I wanted to know this woman's story. I was rooting for her before I even knew her, and never stopped.
This is the epitome of a five star read for me. I'll forever hold the idea that something as wonderful as this story was the reality of the final days of one of the greatest artists to ever live. He deserved some joy and tenderness.

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I recently read Louise and Vincent, a wonderful love story penned by Diane Byington. The book explores the idea of "what ifs", imagining what might have happened if Vincent had found the love he had been searching for in his final days. The characters are portrayed in a very realistic way, making the story feel like a totally fictional novel. Although I have always enjoyed Vincent's artwork, this book helped me to see him as a real person. I would like to extend my gratitude to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC ebook copy of the novel to read and review.

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Vincent Van Gogh’s life reads like a novel, even without fictionalization. But author Diane Byington plums the last months of his life with rich and rewarding “what ifs.” Yes, the Ravoux family—Arthur, Louise, 13-year-old Adeline, and one-year-old Germaine—ran the inn, but what if Arthur was a cad and Louise a sad wife? Yes, Van Gogh stayed at the Ravoux Inn in Auvers-sur-Oise, but what if he fell in love with the beautiful Louise? Yes, Van Gogh died of a gunshot wound, but what if it wasn’t self-inflicted?

Byington takes the facts and imagines a tender love story, explores a woman’s options in that day, brings to life a girl made famous in a painting (take the time to look up Portrait of Adeline Ravoux if you’re not familiar with it), and “paints” an artist known for mental illness with gentle strokes.

Louise and Vincent captivated me by plunging me into the French countryside, where so many artists escaped to for inspiration, and unfolding a story about a sensitive man who awakens the artistic and sexual senses of an abused woman.

Thanks to NetGalley and Red Adept Publishing for an advanced review copy.

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Like the author of Louise and Vincent, I am a huge fan of Vincent van Gogh’s artwork and it has inspired some of my own writing. I loved this novel by Diane Byington immensely. It goes in a direction that presents Vincent in a more positive light. At least, the last months of his life. And I thank the author for writing it this way. Also, the cover of Vincent’s Starry Night Over The Rhone is gorgeous and, in many ways, reflects some of the novel’s beauty.

First and foremost, this is a work of fiction dotted with true aspects of Vincent’s life. We have all wondered what really happened to this man who received a gunshot wound. We know the fact that complications followed the horrid event and ended his life. Was his death an accident or a deliberate vile act imposed by another? Or was it suicide? Some theories present the notion that Vincent was protecting someone which is why he never revealed what happened. Ms Byington explores this idea he might have been protecting someone he loved: a woman. Without giving anything away, this well fleshed out concept becomes quite believable through the power of story-telling. Ms Byington has filled in the missing details of history imagining a possible scenario in Vincent’s story. Her own passion for his artwork comes shining through. And the result is a well-crafted beautiful story that gives us a mostly gentle man who may have loved a woman so much he needed to protect her by not revealing the truth.

French Louise Ravoux is a closet artist. But she is also a married woman who shares an Innkeeper role with her husband. Their relationship, though, is a very painful one. She is married to an awful man who repeatedly abuses her in every way possible. He is violent and possessive and she is often a victim of his angry fists. It is easy to feel compassion for Louise and understand her desire to get away from the person who constantly tortures her. But this proves no easy task—especially with two children, one very young and the other a teenager. The older daughter Adeline plays a fairly large part in the story and it is not always pretty. Her loyalty to her father and eventual fear become motivating factors of her actions.

Louise, on the other hand, always has my admiration. She is a wonderful lead character who is bold, brave, courageous and re-discovers herself and strength through loving Vincent. Yes, I wanted her to flee her abusive husband and to re-indulge in her artwork and to be free to love someone who truly cares about her. She deserves to be loved properly and Vincent in this story is the one who does. They have a strong spiritual and creative connection. Along with their love of art, there is a powerful physical attraction, too. He becomes her teacher but so much more as her beloved.

Other noteworthy characters are her friends Danielle and Gerard who offer the support she needs during some rough patches. Of course, the artist’s brother makes an appearance. But another person that cannot be overlooked is Louise’s mother. She carries a secret and a surprise not revealed until after her passing. Without giving any of the plot away, I can say Louise is initially angered by what she learns, and also moved by one of her mother’s actions. Yet these unexpected ‘gifts’ eventually free Louise. But not before she endures a cartload of grief.

I could not put this book down and was totally invested in the lives of the characters. There are some surprise twists in the novel, even though there are a few breadcrumb hints along the way. We all know Vincent dies after he is shot but what course do the fictional characters take? I can tell you Ms Byington offers some fantastic dramatic outcomes.

A Vincent van Gogh novel is not complete without some extensive research into his life and art. And Ms Byington faithfully covers these areas and sticks to and utilises well the historical narrative. Some of the books she has drawn upon for inspiration and facts are in my own library. I totally agree with Ms Byington’s recommendation to check out the books she lists. If you are a lover of Vincent van Gogh, you will enjoy these excellent references.

There have been a number of Vincent inspired fiction books this past year, some of which I have read and reviewed (and a few others I have not tackled yet and will). But this one is very high on my list. Ms Byington’s Louise and Vincent focuses on the last months of the artist’s life, the potential love he might have found and what could have caused his death. The scenes with Vincent mostly show a compassionate gentler side of him and make him appear very human and reachable. The quotes by Vincent at the beginning of each chapter are absolutely brilliant and act as a guidepost for each chapter’s events. Beautifully done, tenderly delivered and profoundly memorable. I loved this novel completely. 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks to BooksGoSocial and Netgalley for my review copy.

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Author Diane Byington has weaved a fictional account, based on real facts, of the last 70 days of Vincent Van Gogh on Auvers-Sur-Oise outside of Oise. He was a guest of the Auberge Ravoux, an inn tended by Louise Ravoux and her abusive husband.
We know from historical facts that he did indeed spent his last 70 days in the area and at the inn, he also know that he painted his most magnificent and more recognized paintings during this period and we know that he died from a gunshot wound there, it we don’t know much about his daily life during this period or know much of him as a man, not just as Van Gogh the artist.
This book answers some of these questions about his life, what if he fell in love with Louise, what if he didn’t die of a gunshot by his own hand but was shot at and died protecting the reason of why he was shot, and what if he didn’t die and left France, would he have achieve the fame he did if he hadn’t died so young?
The book allowed me to look at Van Gogh more as a man than as a painter, one who was deeply flawed but loved also deeply, but more than a book about his life this is a book about a woman in the 1800s France living a life she didn’t chose to, a hard and loveless life with an abusive husband, betrayed by her mother and by her husband, until she met Van Gogh and learned what true love is.
I was engrossed in the story since the beginning and even though I knew what was the ending of his life I couldn’t stop reading until the end.
Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists and reading about him painting some of his most magnificent paintings was a cherry on the top of the cake.

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Diane Byington's "Louise and Vincent" is a poignant masterpiece that effortlessly blends romance and the blossoming of one woman's spirit against the backdrop of a tumultuous era. Set in the charming yet challenging world of a French inn, this novel weaves together the lives of Louise Ravoux, a resilient innkeeper, and the painter, Vincent van Gogh.

Louise's life is far from idyllic. Struggling to keep her inn afloat, she carries the heavy burdens of raising her two daughters and navigating the treacherous waters of an abusive marriage. However, one fateful day, her world takes an unexpected turn with the arrival of Vincent, a scruffy redheaded painter whose presence stirs something deep within her.

Vincent's entrance into Louise's life is like a burst of color on a canvas. His arresting eyes and vibrant spirit awaken a long-dormant part of Louise's soul, reminding her of the first love she had all but forgotten. The chemistry between them is palpable, yet Louise bears the scars of her past, the darkness she endured during her marriage.

As Louise finds herself drawn to Vincent and his art, she takes a courageous step by requesting painting lessons from him. This decision sets her on a path of self-discovery and transformation, defying the confines of her abusive husband. Louise's journey is fraught with danger, but her determination to find meaning in life and experience love shines through.

"Louise and Vincent" is not just a love story; it's a chronicle of a woman's awakening. Diane Byington's narrative is a vivid portrayal of the last months of Vincent van Gogh, one of history's most iconic artists. Through her words, readers are transported to a time when art and love held the power to transform lives.

The novel beautifully captures the essence of art as a catalyst for change and the human spirit. Louise's story illustrates the strength within us all, waiting to be unleashed when faced with adversity.

In "Louise and Vincent," Diane Byington paints a mesmerizing picture of love, resilience, and the pursuit of a meaningful life. It's a tale that lingers in the heart, reminding us that even in the darkest of times, the colors of love and art can brighten our world.

"Diane Byington's 'Louise and Vincent' is a mesmerizing journey through art, love, and the indomitable human spirit. A compelling tale that lingers in the heart."

"In 'Louise and Vincent,' Diane Byington paints a vivid portrait of resilience and redemption. This novel is a brushstroke of inspiration for anyone seeking to overcome adversity."

"With exquisite prose, Diane Byington captures the essence of love and self-discovery in 'Louise and Vincent.' A story that reminds us that even in the darkest of times, there is hope."

"Through the compelling characters of Louise and Vincent, Diane Byington conveys art and passion. A timeless tale of strength and transformation."

"Diane Byington's 'Louise and Vincent' is a masterful blend of historical fiction and romance. A must-read for those who appreciate stories of empowerment and the enduring power of art."

"The pages of 'Louise and Vincent' resonate with the colors of love, courage, and creativity. Diane Byington's storytelling is a work of art in itself."

"With a vivid historical backdrop and captivating characters, 'Louise and Vincent' is a triumph of storytelling. Diane Byington's novel is the embodiment of the resilience of the human spirit."

"In 'Louise and Vincent,' Diane Byington invites readers on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. A beautifully crafted tale that leaves an unforgettable mark."

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An engaging book depicting the last 70 days of Vincent Van Gogh life . Woven into this is the plight of Louise , a wife, mother and entrepreneur struggling in all these roles. Amidst the chaos of her life she recharges when Vincent enters her life. He allows her to find her inner strength and potential. A tad repetitive at times but overall an entertaining read.

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Aww such a beautiful love story of the last 70 days of Vincent Van Gogh.
Thanks for the opportunity to read & review it.

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Thank you NetGalley and the publishers for getting the work out on this book. I’ve never knew much about Vincent Van Gogh but this book was so well written and you get a gist of what his life was like. I adore this novel so much.

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This was a good book on the end of Vincents life. It's interesting to learn more about him and his relationship. Good book for an art lover. Easy to read.

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Diane Byington has expertly woven together historical facts and imagined possibilities to share a fictional account of Vincent Van Goghs final months. The tale is spun from Vincent’s time as a boarder at the Auberge Ravoux. Although Louise Ravoux was indeed the innkeeper and Vincent did live there for 70 days the story depicted is fictional. With rich characters and a not so typical love story, Diane Byington paints a story of love, strength and determination. I enjoyed reading and learning more about Van Goghs art as well as the period, the research put into this novel was apparent and excellent. I highly recommend Louise and Vincent!

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🎨A love story for Van Gogh: terrific read😊

4.5🌟 stars
I loved this story!

I have been a big fan of Vincent Van Gogh's art since I was a teenager. He put so much feeling into each canvas. Louise and Vincent is told from Louise's POV and focuses on the trials of her family life, but it also breathes some love and happiness, though fleeting, into the last seventy days of Vincent's short time on earth.

The fictional plot was well done, poignant, just a good, entertaining read. I couldn't put it down, despite full well knowing his ending could not be other than tragic. The final secret unveiled by Louise and his posthumous gift to her were sweet touches no matter their fictional nature.

Thanks to BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for sharing a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest opinion.

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What if Vincent Van Gogh was in love and ready to marry a lovely young innkeeper? What if said innkeeper was already married, to an abusive man? Could there be a happy ending for Van Gough, one no one knew about? "Vincent & Louise" would have you think that there were a world of possibilities for the two young people.

Louise Ravoux and her husband Arthur moved to a small town in France from Paris. They have leased the inn and its becoming a going concern, but Arthur is a suspicious, abusive husband and Louise is trapped in this brutal marriage. The inn caters to writers and painters, and one day a scruffy young man with a mangled ear comes seeking a room. His name...Vincent Van Gogh. Vincent and Louise strike up a friendship, and soon he agrees to give her painting lessons in exchange for laundry and breakfast delivered to his room (he is not a morning person). Their relationship, its impact on Louise and her children, make up the rest of the story.

Told by Louise as she shares her memories with a young journalist seeking a story, Vincent & Louise is a wonderful romp of speculative fiction mingled with fact. It's well worth the read, and be sure not to miss the historical notes at the end.

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So, I was briefly interested in van Gogh last year. I went to the immersive experience in Chicago, and I have his letter collection and another fictional recounting of his life featuring him and his brother Theo. I got distracted by other things before delving further.

Let's just say this book reignited that interest.

I didn't know what to expect when I read this, but this book is just so tender and thoughtful. Despite knowing the inevitable outcome, I still adored Louise and Vincent's relationship. What I loved even more was the focus on Louise's story and finding the strength to stand up to her abusive husband. Her character captured me entirely, even to the point I almost cried when the inevitable (i.e., Vincent's death) came. Plus, the complex dynamics she shared with other characters like her mother and daughter had me empathizing with her so hard. Louise deserved so much better, and I was glad she found some happiness later in life.

Overall, this was a fantastic novel, even if you know nothing about van Gogh. If you wanna read a beautiful story about love with a strong woman protagonist, then I would highly recommend this.

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I love all things related to Vincent Van Gogh which is why I picked up this book. It did not disappoint. The author did a wonderful job brining both characters to life. This is a book I will definitely recommend.

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