Francine Rivers has written a clever contemporary romance, The Masterpiece. She moves between the pasts and presents of her two main characters in almost every chapter. The device, however, allows us to learn in much more detail the backgrounds of the characters than a normal flashback would. Once I’d read a few chapters, I was hooked and read the book straight through.
Grace Moore, a divorced unwed mom, desperately needs a job. Roman Velasco, a moody but talented artist, needs a personal assistant. Despite some fits and starts, Grace ends up working for Velasco. She needs the income so she can find a place of her own for herself and her son, Samuel. Grace represents many women today-both those who married too young and for the wrong reasons, and those who became pregnant out of wedlock. Grace is not perfect, but she’s been forgiven by God and is trying to walk the right path.
Roman Velasco, aka Bobby Dean Bird, came out of the foster system a bitter man determined to survive. In his alter-ego, BDB, he paints graffiti on walls and buildings in the city-daring the danger of heights and capture. As Velasco, he paints contemporary art that sells but does not fulfill him. He is searching for something to fill the hunger within.
As they work together, Grace and Roman fall in love, but the path to true love is rocky. And therein lies the cleverness of Rivers’ story. By bringing us chapters of their pasts, Grace and Roman live for us, and we understand and care for them much more deeply than if she’d written their story as a straight romance. I could not put the book down-five stars. That said, the book is extremely long (494 pages), but The Masterpiece, a story of love, redemption, and grace you’ll find well worth the time to read.
Francine Rivers is a New York Times best-selling author who has won lifetime achievement awards from several literary associations. Some of her bestsellers are Redeeming Love, the Bridge to Haven, and The Mark of the Lion series. Francine and her husband live in Northern California and enjoy time with their three children and five grandchildren.
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. gave me an advance reader copy of The Masterpiece, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.