When I was in High School, I visited Rembrandt’s house in Amsterdam. I remember walking up the twisting stairway, seeing the engravings and feeling the thrill of stepping into art and history.
In Lynn Cullen’s novel, I am Rembrandt’s Daughter, Cornelia walks and lives this life with Rembrandt daily. Told in first-person, the story alternates between teenage Cornelia and her remembrances of the past that are guided by particular paintings done by Rembrandt at the time. Cornelia’s world is not only pigment and brush though. The increasingly ringing of the bells of the church to mark funerals and the prophetic P on the door signal when a family has been affected by the plague. For Cornelia, the plague is not only a potential future threat, but also a painful anchor to the past.
Explorations of what it means to be a family, talent and ambition vs. doing what is expected, and uncovering hidden secrets all contribute to making this a very interesting and enchanting read.
My best to you all,