Book Review: The Marigold Chemise

The Marigold Chemise – book cover

Book: The Marigold Chemise

Author: Sheryl Westergreen (@SDWeste) / Twitter

Genre: Historical fiction, business

Review copy: Reedsy Discovery

Available at: Amazon.in

Recommended: Must Read

“The seduction had begun.” I could not resist picking up The Marigold Chemise by Sheryl Westergreen as it gave vibes similar to one of my favorite historical fiction featuring a painting – The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer. The stunning book cover with yellow-orange hues was instantly attractive. I deep-dived into this book with much anticipation and undivided attention.

When young Lucida of the conservative Glavani family agrees to model the marigold silk chemise for portraits by her friend Alessia, the reader can relate to her eagerness. How can one not revel in the beauty of silken wonder almost as bright as the sun? The book does justice to these sentiments – both of the protagonist and the reader as it brings forth a mesmerizing story.

A fine lesson in history, architecture, food, decor, art, and the culture of Roman society, the author’s research features in an impactful narration. Some of the prose is poetic. The dreamy color of the marigold occurs more than once. The romantic tale thrills and the historical fiction enthralls. Halfway through the book, a nefarious element builds up and keeps the reader glued. The whispering of clandestine dealings with scandalous consequences creates further curiosity about how the characters will handle the brewing storm.

This is a young, bashful story – of two women trying to fulfill dreams and desires. As always, the base conflict is between aspirations and how to keep them alive in the face of societal bindings. The characters are well-fleshed out. Even the male characters are tender and understanding, wanting the best for their women. The story moves at a breathtaking speed with twists and turns like the cobbled streets of Rome. This book is a tribute to the artistic spirit.

Eventually, how do events transpire in the lives of a talented female painter and her gorgeous female model, wrapped in the magic of a marigold chemise? They have the same dream, but can they stand for themselves in a world that would rather have them relegated to lavish living rooms and busy kitchens? How does the marigold chemise inspire a business venture? Read this alluring tale with an artistic and feministic theme, just as I did. I have added this book to my beloved historical fiction list. It brims with the fire and the glow of the marigold. Make it yours.

Read the author’s interviews:

https://www.newswire.com/news/sheryl-westergreens-new-book-the-marigold-chemise-is-an-intriguing-21716448

Each Painting – A Discovery!

As an admirer of art, especially by children and young adults, I am discovering breathtaking work ever so often. Here is an inspiring story and some verses from my archives that found the perfect fit in paintings by Debarghya Chaudhuri.

Sixteen years old, Debarghya is searching for purpose through art. His art is crazy and real. Debarghya, a happy and energetic teenager from Gurugram, India, is on the autism spectrum. He has found a fulfilling passion in painting landscapes and abstracts. On this quest, he is being noticed in the professional art world. His paintings are enlisted with professional art galleries and international exhibitions.

Continue reading “Each Painting – A Discovery!”

The Creative Mind

It all starts with a vision – be it a venture, a painted artwork, a sheaf of writing – and many a times across time and space they converge. A delayed monsoon made me crave the soul nourishment of the rains and I rummaged through some of my micro-verses looking for succour. I came across two previously written poems to feature on my blog.

Yesterday, like everyday, I was browsing through The Special Mom – Samavesh, a wonderful group created by dear friend, Kreeti. A post by Joyashree, caught my eye. It was a painting by her 12-year old son, Shreyan, His art was complementing the verses I had dug out from my archives.

I reached out to Joyashree and shared how beautiful the artwork was and the words I had written. As we chatted, I got to see another brilliant piece on the theme of boats and stormy skies by Shreyan. It was touching.

In absolute awe and delight at the acrylic painting on paper, I am sharing two of Shreyan’s pieces here with his mother’s permission. Joyashree says, a fun-loving adolescent, Shreyan loves to paint water bodies and shapes.

The little boy

Floats a paper boat

In a puddle on the road

To him it is the ocean

He on a voyage aboard

Musings by ANEESHA SHEWANI

Rain-filled clouds

Like cotton glaze

On a summer sky

The sun playing

Hide and seek

A silver lining here

A rainbow bridge there

MuSINGS BY ANEESHA SHEWANI

Acrylic on Paper by Shreyan Chakraborty (12 years old)


What is most inspiring about this artwork is that Shreyan is a special child, having been diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 years. Painting is his refuge and voice. He is expressing his vision of beauty and adoration for nature. We catch a glimpse of his beautiful mind and soul through his artwork.

Shreyan is one of the many whose creativity has found a platform on Samavesh (Inclusion). Kreeti has put her full force and compassion behind this amazing group of pure souls, who bring so much joy through their pursuit of creativity. I have seen intricately designed jewelry, clay work, and renditions of music and dance on this platform.

The profile of Samavesh says, “Let’s change the narrative, celebrate and showcase their talents and brilliance, and not their challenges.” Challenges, however, are a part of life and here is a shout out to all the lovely parents who are helping their children overcome everyday hurdles – one hug, one encouraging word at a time. Thank you, Joyashree, for bringing brushes and paints to Shreyan to brighten our world.

To learn more about collaborating with Samavesh and endorsing the work of these children, you can write to: contact@thespecialmom.org

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