Read Lisette's List by Susan Vreeland Online


From Susan Vreeland, bestselling author of such acclaimed novels as Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Luncheon of the Boating Party, and Clara and Mr. Tiffany, comes a richly imagined story of a woman’s awakening in the south of Vichy France—to the power of art, to the beauty of provincial life, and to love in the midst of war.In 1937, young Lisette Roux and her husband, André, moveFrom Susan Vreeland, bestselling author of such acclaimed novels as Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Luncheon of the Boating Party, and Clara and Mr. Tiffany, comes a richly imagined story of a woman’s awakening in the south of Vichy France—to the power of art, to the beauty of provincial life, and to love in the midst of war.In 1937, young Lisette Roux and her husband, André, move from Paris to a village in Provence to care for André’s grandfather Pascal. Lisette regrets having to give up her dream of becoming a gallery apprentice and longs for the comforts and sophistication of Paris. But as she soon discovers, the hilltop town is rich with unexpected pleasures.Pascal once worked in the nearby ochre mines and later became a pigment salesman and frame maker; while selling his pigments in Paris, he befriended Pissarro and Cézanne, some of whose paintings he received in trade for his frames. Pascal begins to tutor Lisette in both art and life, allowing her to see his small collection of paintings and the Provençal landscape itself in a new light. Inspired by Pascal’s advice to “Do the important things first,” Lisette begins a list of vows to herself (#4. Learn what makes a painting great). When war breaks out, André goes off to the front, but not before hiding Pascal’s paintings to keep them from the Nazis’ reach.With German forces spreading across Europe, the sudden fall of Paris, and the rise of Vichy France, Lisette sets out to locate the paintings (#11. Find the paintings in my lifetime). Her search takes her through the stunning French countryside, where she befriends Marc and Bella Chagall, who are in hiding before their flight to America, and acquaints her with the land, her neighbors, and even herself in ways she never dreamed possible. Through joy and tragedy, occupation and liberation, small acts of kindness and great acts of courage, Lisette learns to forgive the past, to live robustly, and to love again....

Title : Lisette's List
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780812980196
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 426 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lisette's List Reviews

  • Angela M
    2019-02-12 19:16

    As a little girl in the orphanage in Paris, Lisette’s love of art is born as she looks at a painting of the Madonna and Child. “How a human being, not a god, could re-create reality so accurately, how the deep blue of her cloak and the rich red of her dress could put me, a young orphan without a sou to her name in touch with all that is fine and noble, how such beauty could stir something in me so deep that must have been what Sister Marie Pierre called soul – such things drenched me with wonder,” So begins Lisettte’s love affair with art.I was at the start drawn into the story by the loving relationship of Lisette and Andre and then by the beautiful descriptions of the lazy, lovely, little town of Roussillon in the south of France, where this young couple come to live in 1937 . They have left Paris with all of its excitement and promise and art , to stay with Pascal , Andre's aged grandfather and in doing so have left their work - Andre as a carver of frames and Lisette , the possibility of becoming a gallery apprentice .The town is quiet and beautiful and the days for Lisette are filled with cleaning and cooking , but most importantly listening to Pascal's stories about the 7 paintings he owns and his relationship with the painters - Pissarro , Cezanne. Time passes and the war begins; everything has changed for Lisette and she finds herself alone , but yet in love with the town and people who come to love her. I feel as if I had an education in art and I loved my teachers - Pascal, Lisette , Maxime , Chagall , yes Marc Chagall. The descriptions of the paintings were so perfect that you could close your eyes and see them before you. I loved these characters - Lisette , Maurice , Maxime and didn't want to leave them .The story is about more than the paintings, though. It is about life and death ,the strengths of people during times of adversity , about war and the deepest bonds of friendship , about the resilience of people and about love .Encouraged by Pascal, Lisette writes a list of things she must do, “Lisette’s List of Hungers and Vows “ grows at each change and turn in her life as she adds to the list over the years and works to accomplish all of them. To include that list here would be to tell Lisette’s story and that is something I would recommend you do by reading this book. Thanks to Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley.

  • Stephanie Renee
    2019-02-05 18:53

    I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this novel. Lisette’s List was a thoughtful and moving read for me, with a scene mid-book that touched on the universal, giving me reason for pause and deep contemplation, what all great literature strives for. Vreeland’s mastery of language and descriptive images are on every page. The first word that comes to mind after reading the book: Exquisite. I loved Vreeland’s characterization of Parisian and Provençal life, along with learning about Marc Chagall and his wife’s plight and his thoughts on the effects of war on art and artists and culture. Throughout the novel I enjoyed the reflections and explanations of art materials and works and the meanings behind paintings such as Picasso’s "Guernica" and "Weeping Woman". For anyone who appreciates vivid settings, specific time period details, characters and writing with soul and heart and a focus on art, you’ll love and revel in this novel. With gorgeous prose, as in "She seemed an angel, guiding me with wings of steel." Once again, Vreeland has created an important story, one written as finely as a Pissarro painting, but in the rich colors of Cezanne’s palette. Book clubs, start making the marzipan and heating up the crème cafe, there’s a lot to explore and discuss in Lisette’s List.

  • ☮Karen
    2019-02-05 15:11

    Lisette and her husband Andrè move to Provence when summoned by his grandfather, who is in poor health. Only he seems fine, and is intent on teaching them some appreciation of the paintings he had long ago acquired from some up-and-coming French artists -- maybe these sound familiar -- Cèzanne and Picasso. Lisette is unhappy with the deception that forced her to leave her beloved Paris but soon learns to love Provence as well and makes some good friends. She also learns much about art, as do we readers. Color, light, shading, and geometry in a painting. Ochre! Construction of frames. Proper storage of canvases. And how the Nazis would do anything to get to those paintings.This takes place over several years, beginning in 1937, through WWII, and continuing Lisette's story well after the war and some unfortunate losses. She and Andrè lived an inspiring love story, and Lisette was just simply a good soul (she was raised by a nun after all).One thing I believe is that this author knows art, in all its forms. I had a bit of an art education here, and it reinforced for me how there is much beauty and art all around us just in our everyday lives.. When you plant flowers or arrange a bouquet, when you pick out your dish patterns and your room colors, when you display knick knacks on a shelf, style your hair, take a photograph, enjoy an amazing sunset with your sweetie--you are experiencing forms of art. This author reminds me of that with her beautiful descriptions of nature and her interesting characters, although the characters and the story are likely secondary; a means to an end. Her artistry fills my heart, stimulates my brain, and wakes up all my senses. A rich, lovely book.

  • Chrissie
    2019-02-05 13:56

    ETA: I feel I need to clarify what exactly I found “too cute”. What I found too cute was the fictional story crafted by the author, of course not the historical events. In no way is WW2 cute. In addition I found the historical events, although not inaccurate, without depth. So much more could have been said! *************************************OK, dear friends, do you want the truth? Friends recommended this book to me, and I don't want to hurt any feelings, but this book did not work for me at all. By the end I absolutely hated it. For me to give it anything other than one star is a total lie. Why it failed me is extremely simple. It is too damn cute for me. It is about art, the art of Chagall and Pissarro and Cezanne and about the value/meaning of art. Art is personal and I do not want to be told how to think. The whole discussion of art was, for my taste, oversimplified. There is an afterword that details how the author modified the known paintings to fit the novel.This is primarily a book of fiction. Other than the three named artists, the characters were all fictional. The fictional story, what is that about? Romance and mystery. The time setting is WW2 and the mystery element is the disappearance of famed artwork. Were they stolen to be sold to the Germans? Who is a collaborator and who isn't? Maybe I have read too many non-fiction books on WW2 to be satisfied with this fictional presentation. I did enjoy the author's depiction of both Roussillon, in Provence, and Paris. She captured the magnetism, the beauty and the unique atmosphere of both. I love both Roussillon and Paris; both are very special to me personally. I appreciated that the author acknowledged how one can come to love and feel at home in more than one place on this earth. Nevertheless, I cannot give an additional star because on concluding the book I felt I really disliked it.I have zero complaints with the audiobook's narration by Kim Bubbs. Delightful French.

  • Meg - A Bookish Affair
    2019-01-30 21:05

    4.5 stars. "Lisette's List" is the latest release by the fabulous historical fiction author, Susan Vreeland. Vreeland is definitely on my list of authors whose books I'm definitely going to want to get my hands on it as soon as I can whenever they come out. I very much liked some of her other releases and believe that "Lisette's List" is a very good follow-on to her other works. In this book, Lisette left the glittering world of Paris behind in order to go with her husband to a small French town in order to care for his ailing or maybe not so ailing grandfather. At first, Lisette really doesn't want to be in that small town; however, a mystery and some very warm and wonderful townspeople make her feel like the small town could become home.I really enjoy when a historical fiction book includes some art. As with some of Vreeland's other books, art plays a heavy hand here. Lisette's husband's grandfather, Pascal, has a mystery for Lisette to solve that revolves around some of the world's greatest paintings that may be in danger with the invasion of the Germans. I loved this mystery and I loved all of the adventures that it created for the storyline. It definitely made this book very exciting to me.The characters in the book are fabulous. Lisette is definitely an interesting character and she felt very real to me. She definitely kept me wanting to read to find out what would happen to her next. Lisette had very clear career goals and is disheartened when her and her husband's move to this small French town takes her away from her hopes of running her own art gallery. Lisette also comes across some famous characters in her adventures including the famous artist Marc Chagall.This is a fantastic story with a lot of great historical detail. I also liked how the author was able to create a sense of warmness in the little French town. I really felt that it really helped me to get into the story. This book will definitely thrill previous fans of Vreeland's work and hopefully find her some new fans as well!

  • Deborah Ideiosepius
    2019-01-27 19:03

    In this story we follow the life of Lisette, a young Parisian woman who is forced to relocate to a small Provence village when her husband's only living relative, an old grandfather who reared him, writes to tell them he is failing and needs Andre to care for him. This is a blow to Lisette who had been about to follow her passion for art by getting a job in a gallery. She consoles herself with the knowledge that Pascal owns seven paintings by famous artists since he used to work in the ochre mines of his town, latter selling the pigments produced by the ochres, which put him in touch with artists. This initial part of the book, concentrating on painting was enjoyable as it was the painting that I was interested in reading about.Then world war two comes along Andre goes off to fight, hiding the painting before he goes and PLEASE NOTE, not trusting his wife to know where they are hidden. After the war Lisette goes looking for the paintings.There, that is the essence of the plot. The things that make this novel vibrant and readable however are the clear delight and passion the author most clearly feels for painting and for France. I especially recognise the Francophile in the writing as both my mother and uncle are inveterate Francophiles. The descriptions of Paris, Provance, the countryside and its beauties is detailed and glows, anyone who loves France should enjoy this element of it considerably. On the negative side, this passion leads the author to write a fair bit in French. Long gone are the days where an educated person was expected to be able to read English, French and German with equal fluency and while I will put up with it from old authors, in a modern book it can (and did) become a little aggravating at times. I could understand a lot of the french, but other times you either Google for the meaning or just don't bother. On pages 169-170 where we are presented with a whimsical naming of vegetables and a play on their FRENCH words into peoples names.... You lost me there Susan.The high point for me was really the art, I now know more about ochres, the impressionists and the impact of WWII on French art, thoroughly enjoyed most of it. Look forward to my next visit to France more eagerly by a bit. The author acknowledges that she is a "passionate lover of art" rather than an artist or a historian, this passion I think, is what makes many aspects of the art descriptions, paintings and trends very, very vivid and enjoyable reading for someone interested in art like myself. Be warned if you do not though; there is quite a of it of it, also, at times the 'voice' in which art matters are described can become very stilted, as though the author/character speaking is reading off notes.There were a few things about the book that I did not enjoy as much as the art and France though: The characters showed very little development. At the end we are told that eleven years have passed! Lisette was in her early twenties when it started, presumable. Twenties to thirties is an amazing character development for most people, never mind the extreme life events she had been through, yet she appeared practically identical at page 407 to page 5. Incidentally, that is a high page count in which to not bother developing or changing characters at all. Eleven years are just not believable really. The other criticisms are mostly (view spoiler)[The main criticism really is Lisette herself, while a fine character for a brief story, she fails to be believable in a long one. Lisette failed to engage me and I was impatient with a lot of her idiocies to the point where I put the book down quite often based on this impatience with her. She often read much more like a twenty first century American woman than a 1930's French girl. While her becoming self sufficient after the death of Andre and learning to make ends meet in the country, while missing Paris - this was a good theme, but why on earth didn't her character develop at all through those eleven years of all this???Bernards story - words fail me.... For the most part of the book he is rude, crude, abusive, stalkerish and downright rapey. Then all of a sudden he becomes a good guy after he appologises and gropes (sorry, washes) her knee?The bizarre treasure hunt for the paintings was horrible. The very idea of hiding paintings in such damaging conditions made me slightly nauseous at times but also it made no sense! It was obvious they were trying to increase her attachment to the land, and doing so on purpose, for two or three it was fine but by the end it was just plain annoying. Too much of it! And Bernard's involvement in it is so easily glossed over and forgiven? really? I would have wanted to hit him, not invite him to dinner!Le'Occitane... really? It is a modern company, even though it claims to be 'based on' the region, well, ok, I suppose....(hide spoiler)]So, despite my picking on small details, which is a habit of mine I enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to anyone fond of reading about France and/or art, especially the impressionists. It is a fairly long novel, so be prepared to make it an ongoing project.

  • Connie
    2019-02-19 18:10

    Art lovers and Francophiles will enjoy "Lisette's List". Fictional characters Lisette and Andre Roux left Paris to live in Roussillon de Provence to care for Andre's ailing grandfather, Pascal. Cosmopolitan Lisette misses Paris, but becomes very fond of Pascal who tells her stories about Pissarro and Cezanne. Pascal had worked in the ochre mines and later sold paints made from the ochre pigments. He made frames for the artists who paid him with their paintings.When World War II breaks out Andre joins the military, hiding the valuable paintings before he leaves Roussillon because the Nazis were stealing artworks. Lisette befriends the villagers and learns the skills of a country woman. She also spends time with the Jewish couple, artist Marc Chagall and his wife Bella, who are in hiding. After the Nazis surrender Lisette looks for the paintings which have disappeared from their original hiding place, and tries to build a new life for herself.I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the artworks and of Roussillon. The author has an informative website with photographs of Rousillon and the paintings mentioned in the book. It must be a fabulous sight to see the sun shining through the ochre canyons of Roussillon, carved away by both the mistral winds and quarrymen, with colors ranging from the lightest yellow to orange to rose to purple. This would probably be a good book club read for a group of art lovers since themes of friendship, love, war, and the meaning of home are also present.Susan Vreeland's website with photographs:

  • Rebecca Foster
    2019-02-18 20:07

    “When a man finds a place he loves, he can endure the unspeakable.” Vreeland writes pleasant books based around artists and paintings; years ago I enjoyed her Girl in Hyacinth Blue and The Passion of Artemisia. In this latest novel, Lisette Roux and her woodcarver husband, André, move from Paris to the small village of Roussillon, Provence in 1937 to care for his ailing grandfather, Pascal. It’s a tough adjustment for Lisette, a socialite and aspiring gallery assistant.Pascal, who sold paints and frames, has memories of meeting many of the greats, such as Pissarro and Cézanne. Now, with war approaching and her husband off to the front, Lisette is tasked with safeguarding Pascal’s art collection from the Nazis. She meets some famous figures of her own: Samuel Beckett makes a cameo appearance and Marc Chagall and his wife Bella – who as Russian Jews were taking refuge in the countryside – have a more major role.It’s always interesting to see how Vreeland will weave in historical figures and both real and imagined paintings. The novel brings to life the privations of wartime France: Lisette uses an outhouse (lovingly crafted by André), lives by the products of her pet goat and chicken, and spends hours deriving colors to use to dye her marzipan fruits for sale.However, Vreeland is sometimes too heavy-handed with the historical details, such as explaining the rules of boules, the process of mining ochre, and the Parisian fashions of the 1940s. Both the mystery of the paintings’ whereabouts and a later love triangle felt predictable and overwrought, though I did sympathize with Lisette. I wanted her titular ‘list’ to be a bit more consequential, à la Schindler’s; instead, it’s little more than a set of banal New Year’s resolutions.Related reading: The Paris vs. Provence setup makes this ideal for fans of Peter Mayle. From what I’ve heard, the plot – retrieving beloved artworks from the Nazis in France – is very similar to The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. For a novel set in wartime Paris, you can hardly do better than All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

  • Sandie
    2019-02-04 21:59

    Sue Vreeland's LISETTE'S LIST is essentially written on two levels and while it does an admirable job in recounting certain aspects of WWII as well as presenting an art history lesson focusing on the fate of paintings by Pissarro, Cezanne, Picasso and Chagall during the German occupation of France it is not as effective in fulfilling expectations in the areas of plot intensity nor in character motivation and development.Lisette, the title character, is a Parisian girl raised in a Catholic orphanage where she experiences the beginnings of her appreciation of art. After her marriage to Andre she reluctantly relocates to his home town in Provence in 1937 in order to provide care for his elderly grandfather Pascal, a man who has accumulated several works by the aforementioned masters. Pascal's reminiscence concerning his acquisition of the various works becomes part and parcel of the story.With the outbreak of WWII and the Nazi occupation of France, Andre enlists in the military, but not before hiding his grandfather's precious paintings and Lisette is left to try to assimilate into a town where some view her as an outsider who resists their culture and provincial ways while a handful of others befriend her.In the ensuing years Lisette overcomes many obstacles and the reader is invited to follow along as she copes with everything from Nazi's looking for Pascal's paintings to the unwelcome advances of a local townsman to learning how to make cheese, all the while bent on determining the location of the missing paintings.When one takes a step back and considers the overall story, it is obvious that this book succeeds less effectively as well plotted work of historical fiction than it does as a primer into the history and interpretation of certain works of modern masters and their use of ochre pigments within those works.As a long standing fan of Sue Vreeland, I am sorry to admit that this is not one of my favorites.

  • Stephanie
    2019-01-25 13:59

    Fall in love with this novel of late 1930’s Provence!Suffused with the colors of Provence in the late thirties to forties, Lisette’s List tells the enchanting, sometimes deeply sad and always moving story of a young Parisian girl Lisette who agrees reluctantly to move to the south of France with her husband to live with his weakening grandfather. The old Pascal has stories to tell of his memories of Pissarro and Cézanne, both of whom he knew; he also has five gorgeous paintings to leave them. But when the Nazis overrun France and Pascal dies, the husband André hides the paintings to avoid their confiscation from the enemy and goes off to war with his best friend not even telling Lisette where he has hidden them. She finds herself alone but for close neighbors and faces dangerous trials when the Nazis do arrive. During all this time she makes a somewhat haphazard list of things she feels she must accomplish. Her struggles over the list with its matters small, great and impossible, lead the book; they include finding the paintings, her husband, and helping his best friend. Written with great nuance and tender observations of smallest things — from unraveling a sweater to gather wool for socks, a sensitive goat, the color of apples, the making of a stew from little — the author draws character with a fine brush. Lisette’s List will make you cry and smile and wonder when you look up (so real is the writing) why you do not find yourself in a farmhouse in Roussillon across the table from a charming, principled young woman who is making her list and determined, though she cannot know how, to fulfill all its promises.This may be Susan Vreeland’s finest novel. Buy it!

  • Jane
    2019-01-31 16:16

    I love Provence, Impressionist art, and historical fiction, and thought I would really enjoy this book. However, while the general thread of the heroine learning about artists from a man who used to sell paints and who received a few precious paintings from Cezanne and others was intriguing, the plot grew less believable and more contrived as the book went on. Further, the characters did not draw me in--i felt almost no emotion through their triumphs and tragedies. Thanks, Netgalley, for an advance galley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Sally
    2019-02-23 16:52

    I absolutely loved Vreeland's Luncheon of the Boating Party, so when I found this by chance in the library, I scooped it up. And I did read it cover to cover, and I did love learning about painting in the first half of the twentieth century through the lens of small-town Provence daily life, and what WW II was like in Vichy France. That said, this book had a Serious Mansplaining Problem. If Donald Trump looked into a magic mirror and asked, "Who is the mansplainiest one of all?"--an honest magic mirror would have to say, "every single man in Lisette's List." Oh, Lisette--I know you are young and naive and want to learn everything about art, but maybe read a book instead of talking to all these men! There are things in the book--like terminal illness and world war--that give a reader hope that the mansplaininess might end, but every time a Key Mansplainer leaves the stage, a fresh one comes to take his place, and tell Lisette all about art, life, and herself. And she is okay with that, which may be very historically accurate, but it's also super irritating. Also, my favorite character was the goat.

  • Melanie
    2019-01-26 15:03

    A spectrum of colors created from ocher, mined and mixed to create a palette for Cezanne. Lavender growing wild and scenting the Provencal village of Roussillon. Fresh goat cheese and eggs in a creamy omelette. Gritty marzipan on your tongue. An old man's voice, telling stories that stitch together two centuries of art. All of the senses are engaged in Lisette's List, a novel about the power of art to engage the human instincts to survive, learn, and grow. Lisette and André Roux love Paris, where they have been building a life amongst the galleries and cafes filled with art and artists. Reluctantly, they move to Roussillon to care for Andre's grandfather, Pascal, who has written to them, exaggerating his illness. Pascal is eager to pass on the paintings he purchased by working as an ocher miner and frame-maker for artists, including Cezanne and Pissaro. More, though, he is desperate to pass on his memories of these men, and his own wisdom about art, from appreciation of techniques and color to his near-mystical belief in the power of art to expand one's life.While André looks for work, Lisette tends the house and listens to Pascal, whose tales are sculpted from detailed, annotated lists he has written. Lisette begins a list of her own, "Lisette's List of Hungers and Vows," beginning with "Love Pascal as a father." Her list grows throughout the book as she experiences heartbreak, learns to live and love in the small village, and searches for Pascal's paintings, which André concealed before he went to war.Vreeland provides glimpses into the German occupation in Provence, how some in the resistance had to compromise, and the Nazi destruction of art deemed "decadent." She displays the spectrum of ocher - from deep cadmium yellow and gold through maroon and cream, in a fictional, composite still-life by Cezanne, where the colors delineate the artist's choice of shapes, and support his artistic play with gravity and perspective. Gravity is also a plaything for Marc and Bella Chagall, hiding in a nearby house, painting joyous portraits or people who play violin on the roof and communicate with God.("Try not to be envious," writes Lisette. "Learn how to be self-sufficient.")Twice, Vreeland evokes a particular, peaceful, silent scene -- once, when Lisette and André's friend Maxime observe a magpie who alights on a snowy fence rail, and once, when they see Monet's painting of that scene. Moments like these, with Vreeland's knowing commentary, bring the reader along as Lisette and a shell-shocked veteran come to terms with the war that split apart their lives, and travel along the path to healing through art and forgiveness.Note: the paintings and photographs of the village are posted at Susan Vreeland's website, along with quotes from the book. Do look at them as you read.Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of this book. This is an honest review.

  • Dana
    2019-02-23 16:55

    I received an advanced copy of this book and was excited to read a novel that combined art and a strong woman set against WWII. The story started out wish a burst of energy as Lisette attempts to assimilate to a small town having becoming very accustomed to the te glittering life of a Parisian wife. When she learns her husband's grandfather lured them to the town under false pretenses she is oddly not upset. He imparts his love of art to her and regales her with stories of his interactions with famous painters like Cezanne. The plot had bursts of excitement and then came to rest frequently upon mundane activities. I liked her lists - I'm a list maker myself for absolutely everything I do! I also liked her spunk! I would also have marched into the men's only cafe to listen to the radio broadcast and be informed. But the amount of time the book focused on the paintings and the Germans trying to get them was very small. This was an ok book for me, not a page turner.

  • Vanessa
    2019-01-28 21:51

    I loved this book. I love this author. I have read all of her books and thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. I would definitely recommend any of her books. Even if you do not know a lot about art or art history, it doesn't matter. She brings paintings to life. I feel like I understand more about art when I'm finished. In this book, she delves into pigments and the progression of different styles, starting with Cezanne and Pissaro and ending with Chagall. Instead of focusing on a single painting or artist, this book covers several. It is really well written and the story is engaging.

  • Jennifer Prim
    2019-02-20 16:19

    Have read the first three chapters; so far, so love!!

  • Denice Barker
    2019-02-10 16:07

    If you are going to read a novel by Susan Vreeland, you are going to learn something. And even if you think you don’t want to learn something about art and art history, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easily she dishes it up. Lisette and her new husband move from Paris, where they both worked in the art world, to Roisson, in the Provence region, a place known for it’s wine, olive groves, ochre mines and fields of lavender, to care for Andre’s grandfather who is aging and needs to tell his story before he dies. Pascal’s has been tied to the ochre mines his whole life, first as a miner and then as a seller of the pigments to the art community in Paris. In his life he met and became close to some of the artists of the time, Cezanne, Pisarro, Calder, and owns seven of their original paintings. It was the story of his life with these paints, these paintings and painters that he needs to tell Andre and Lisette. And it is Lisette who listens and learns and grows to love Pascal.As WWII enters their life, Andre leaves with is best friend to go do his duty for his country. Lisette must learn to live alone in a rural place while yearning to return to Paris. She keeps a list of things to do, to learn. She must learn how to become self sufficient, how to love the place you’re in, how to cope.This isn’t what I’d call a light, beach read, it’s certainly interesting enough to transport you past the “mommy, watch this!” action happening in front of you. But it’s not such a dense, heavy read you need total quiet and a candle burning to maintain your concentration. This was a story that had my attention every step of the way and puts me back on track with the author’s work.

  • Karen Michele
    2019-01-27 17:01

    Susan Vreeland is one of the authors I anticipate with joy. Her latest book, Lisette’s List, did not disappoint. First of all, it took me to Paris, my favorite city to visit, and then on to the countryside village of Roussillon, an area of France that has now moved to the top of my list of places to experience. Add to that Vreeland’s ability to describe art and the artistic process in a way that brings it to life, the historical setting of WWII and paintings taken during the Nazi occupation of France, a wonderfully developed heroine and strong secondary characters the combination is set for a rich reading experience. Don’t miss the gallery of the art in the book and other added content about the book on Vreeland’s website ( as it also enhances the reading experience. I savored this one in chunks so as not to finish it too quickly and I recommend it to art lovers, historical fiction buffs and those that relish a slower moving book that is immensely satisfying and that you will miss as you reach the end

  • Irene
    2019-02-20 17:10

    This is my third novel by Vreeland and the one I least enjoyed. Lisette is bequeathed a collection of paintings by her grandfather-in-law who forces Lisette and her husband to swear to protect them. Fearful that these masterpieces will be stolen by invading Nazis, her husband hides them before heading off to war. When he does not return after the war, Lisette makes recovering them her personal mission. Vreeland describes these pieces of art in gushing detail and likewise this village in southern France. The story felt like an excuse, a narrative string from which to hang these verbal paintings. The actions and reactions, the thoughts and words of the characters were clichéd. I suspect a reader with an eye for color and heart for the visual arts may appreciate this book far more than I did.

  • ♥ Sue
    2019-02-06 21:11

    This is a fabulous book that tells Lisette's story from pre-war Paris through World War II and beyond. Susan Vreeland tells such a tale that one forgets that this is fiction and that these are characters and not real persons who have experienced the war and its hardships. Plus, she gives some of the greatest painters in history a fictional life on her pages. She captures the spirit of the times and showers us with the emotions and the wants of the French people during wartime.Lisette's List is our list too. We want to be there with her and to make our own lists with goals of our own for the future.

  • Valerie
    2019-02-23 16:54

    Written by one of my most all time FAVOURITE Authors, Susan Vreeland--I have been fortunate to be one of 12 Lucky readers to have been given the first 3 chapters to read, before the novel is distributed, which I happily did! This has left me craving to read the rest! So for my rating on what I have read thus far , I am definitely giving this Novel. 5 Star Rating!!Read this, I know you will LOVE it!!

  • Christopher Hicks
    2019-01-27 21:18

    This was a pretty good book. It was full of Beautiful details. It dragged in a few places and some parts weren't feasible but over al it was a fun read.

  • Kristy Miller
    2019-01-31 17:07

    The book opens as Lisette is on her way from Paris to a small town in Provence. She is going to meet her husband, Andre, at his grandfather's house, and to take care of the old man in his final years. Lisette is not happy that they are leaving their friends, and art centered life in Paris for small town life. Lisette grows to live Pascal, and loves to hear his stories of the famous artists to whom he sold paints and frames. Sometimes, in exchange for his work, he was paid in paintings, and he has 6 works from Cezanne and Pissaro, and one possible Picasso. After Pascal's death Andre must leave to defend France against the Nazis, but before he goes he hides the paintings. Lisette is left to survive the war, and deal with the consequences that have dramatically changed her life. I loved Vreeland's book on Artemisia Gentileschi, The Passion of Artemisia. But as I don't know as much about Italian renaissance history it may have been easier to like. I know a lot about World War II, and I have focused on the War in France for the last year. That part of this book is pretty weak and general, and it bothered me. But I loved the parts about the artists and paintings. That is obviously her strong suit. I already loved Pissaro's work, though I didn't know much about his life. This book gave me a greater appreciation for Cezanne and Chagall. I'd give this a soft 3.5 stars.

  • Vicki
    2019-02-03 19:18

    Andre and Lisette move from Paris to Rousillion in the late 1930's to care for his Grandfather, Pascal, who had raised him as a child. Pascal is ill and has acquired original paintings be famous painters during the course of his life as a dye salesman. He became quite friendly with them. He cherished them and wanted to tell Lisette the story behind each one. Each day he tells her of his memories but he is getting sicker and sicker. After he passes, WWII starts and Andre joins the forces. Before he leaves he hides the paintings on the advice of Maxime, a friend of both of theirs with whom he joined up. From there the story takes us through the next 9 yrs and Lisette's struggles with her husband at war and the aftermath of war.I really enjoyed this book. The author's descriptions of the things in the French countryside had me dreaming of what it must look like and wishing I could see it. It is beautifully written. The only complaint is I felt it kind of dragged in one spot but not for a long time. I love historical fiction and really enjoyed this book!

  • Candice
    2019-02-10 21:16

    There were so many interesting details to this book - art and artists, surviving World War II in occupied France, the city of Paris and the town of Roussillon. Ms. Vreeland writes beautifully on these subjects and creates sympathetic characters. Just before the beginning of World War II Lisette Roux and her husband Andre move from Paris to Roussillon to care for Andre's ailing grandfather Pascal. Pascal owns several paintings by men who are now well-know artists. He and many of the men in Roussillon have worked in the ochre mines, extracting and refining the materials used in the paints these artists used. Lisette learns to live in this small village and even embraces her life there, although she does miss Paris. Surviving the war is a challenge but the villagers stick together and the paintings begin to plan an important part in the story. The title of Lisette's List is because Lisette makes a list of how she wants to live the rest of her life.

  • Irene
    2019-02-09 16:03

    I loved this book. This is the first historical fiction book that I've read and I'm planning to read more after finishing this book. I won this book from Goodreads giveaways and plan to read Susan Vreeland other books.The story takes us to many historical places in France during WW II and how it affected the artists and their paintings. How one woman lives her live while searching for hidden paintings of her late husband's grandfather that her husband hid prior to leaving to fight in the war. While reading this book you have the feeling of being there.

  • Ruth Cuadra
    2019-02-04 18:56

    Wonderful descriptive writing takes us through the life of Lisette, stranded in Provenance with her new husband's grandfather at the beginning of WWII. Learning about art and life from the grandfather, working to find her place among the people of the village while trying not to give up her dream of living in Paris and working with art, we watch her struggles and come to feel them as our own. When she finally learns to “Love more. Love again. Love broadly. Love without reservation,” we are left hopeful and uplifted.

  • Karen
    2019-02-18 14:02

    I would actually give this a 3.75. It was a charming book very French. Really liked the writing the descriptive detail of life in a rural French village during WWII. The description of the art & the rich characters made this an enjoyable book

  • Ruth Chatlien
    2019-02-16 19:57

    I loved the setting and the details about the art, but I felt that the plot was flat and undeveloped. Not one of my favorite of her books.

  • Andrea
    2019-02-05 16:17

    Nice tie in for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston book club -- you can tell the author is an art lover (which she also explains in her authors notes.)