What does it take to become your own mistress, to feel truly free from belonging to another, to a spouse, a lover, an estate? These are the questions asked by Louise St Quentin in this stunning,
Sadly it has taken me too long to write this review due to illness. I say this because I actually read Mistress Mine within days after I opened the cover. It is a story of a woman, set in the 19th century, who has been orphaned by her mother, ignored by her father and separated by hate by her brother. Still, she matures into an energetic, intelligent - although naïve - woman.
The author, Gabrielle Dubois, develops each character thoroughly. We come to know Louise intimately as she grows both physically and emotionally through the book. Each new character who is introduced is given adequate space in the book so that we also know them, know how they came to be where they are and why they are now in Louise's life. For me, that is a very important aspect of any book - knowing your characters well - and Dubois accomplishes this brilliantly. In addition, it is obvious that much research has gone into the history and politics of the time, the fashion and mannerisms and, most especially, the cross continent travel. The trip that Louise makes across the ocean was expertly told with great detail and perfection. As a history major, I tend to look for flaws in the details and in Mistress Mine I found none.
I went into the book under the false assumption that this was a historical romance, instead I found a beautifully written story of historical fiction. Yes, there is romance in the book, but it takes a backseat to the story of Louise and all those she encounters. There were, at times, some minor hiccups in the translation but that is to be expected with book translated into English. They were minor and did not once distract me from the story itself.
I can wholeheartedly recommend Mistress Mine to all readers who love historical fiction or romance. It will not disappoint.
Natasa's Mistress Mine review
captivating story, that takes place in the late 19th century, about a young girl who is orphaned and left, at the age of 16. I absolutely loved Mistress Mine an historical romance I highly recommend to everyone.
Ana, Thestarslisten's Mistress Mine review
Louise is such an inspiring character. Mistress Mine is a beautifully written coming of age story set in the second half of the 1800s. A must read for literary fans.
If Louise Saint Quentin were a real person who lived in the past, then this would be her memoir. She is both bold and brave. She’s not afraid to venture into the unknown all by herself.
The leaves dancing in the trees were shining in the light of the moon. The air was more fragrant than any perfume from any of her bottles.
It’s an easy read but it’s not a quick read. It took me quite a while to finish this book because physically wise, it is a huge book. Though it does have thick pages it has a lot of words too. The present story takes place in four years time and within those four years Louise has grown into a lovely young woman and has traveled across Europe. With her upbringing you’d think you’ll feel pity for her, but what I felt was anything but. I felt excited and elated as she is.
“A child’s love for its parents doesn’t go without saying. Love has to be deserved, and it takes time!”
My favorite part about this book is whenever a new character is introduced, a chapter will be dedicated solely for that character. Who his parents were, to the event on how he came to be this person at present and how he’s related to the other characters. I am not only learning about the life of Louise but also the life of other notable characters. There’s so many characters in this book that I had to write them down with their corresponding roles and relationships.
Why the book is called Mistress Mine? (My opinion, not the author’s actual reason) That is because Louise has met many gentlemen all in various ages throughout her adventure. Those men are also captivated by not only her beauty, but also her wits. Everyone around her is drawn to her energy and a lot of the said men would like to have Louise by their side.
I really took my time in reading this book. In my opinion, it’s not something you should devour in one sitting. You have to take breaks and let the new information sink in, let excitement grow inside. Another reason - which every other reader has - is I don’t want it to end because I enjoy Louise’s company so much. Her life is so unsure, I’m always looking forward to who we’ll meet next and where her adventure will take me next.
“I’ll take you as you are, Louise. I’m not interested in any of those young girls who pounced on me when I arrived here. I don’t want an innocent young dimwit programmed to marry a man or rather his fortune. Louise, you’re a free woman. You don’t need to marry to ensure your future. If you marry me, it’ll be because you love me, me and me alone.”
I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the story because Louise’s story hasn’t ended yet. The ending of this book was so exciting, filled with love, but I’m also left with lots of questions. With Louise, always expect the unexpected.
** spoiler alert ** Louisa St. Quentin is born into a house of sorrow. Her mother dies after giving birth to Louisa. Her father ignores her and her brother, Georges, abandons her.
Louisa in the mid 1800s grows up a free spirit with no male support. Upon the death of her father, Louisa is running the estate, Moulin-sur-la-selle. She feels
it is her duty to locate Georges, the heir to the estate, and turn the running of the farm over to him. At age sixteen, Louisa sets off for Paris to find her
Louisa travels to her brother's friend, Victor Meyers. She meets Karl Meyers, a pianist and Victor's father. For two years Louisa will be the mistress of Karl Meyers. During these two years she will manage...
This is quite a good historical romance I read in a while. It is about a young girl and her journey in life through many calamities.
Louise St. Quentin is a young girl who suffers from poor upbringing due to the absence of parental love and care as well as guidance. She is self-made and the
consequence is that she is wild and unrefined. Due to this personality of hers, she soon finds herself leading a life unacceptable for a young lady of her time.
However, when she finally understands what she really wants in life and finds her ultimate destination, she is painfully aware how much her unconventional and
unrefined past life has cost her future stability and happiness. But when she thinks she has lost all hopes of love and happiness, a knight in shining armour and a
father figure save the day.
The character of Louise is one the reader starts sympathizing from the very beginning. Even though her actions are too bold and shocking for that of a young
girl of her age, she manages to win the sympathy and support of the reader, as the reader understands that she couldn't have done any better without the absence of
any loving counsel. And all the sin is fallen on her predators.
However, I could not resist a certain observation that I made amidst all that unconventionality. Her relationships in the capacity of "mistress" to a music composer and a model to a painter, are though really unbecoming for a young girl of her era, had its positive impact on art! The story tells us how Louise inspired the composer in to writing a heart wrenching opera and how an uninspired painter found his voice thorough her and how some fine impressionist paintings were born through this inspiration. This observation made me think of those forgotten women who inspired composers, musicians, painters, sculptors and perhaps even writers, who though the society must have looked in a narrow condemning eye, did indeed contribute to some of the great works in the history of art.
Getting back to the book, I have to say that the author has carefully constructed some fine characters to support her story of Louise. Although I had certain
misgivings on some of the characters, I managed to like the main contributors. The story is quite interesting. And I really enjoyed the informative descriptions so
carefully researched and added by the author to give a taste of the settings in which the story is set up. These spread from Paris to Australia and provided
the reader with some valuable historic details as to the late 19th century events and developments. I also enjoyed reading about the various dresses that were
described in detail which the young women wore at that time period. The author has done a good job with the dress descriptions that I felt it would have been
lovely to be transported back in time just to try out some of them!
Overall, it was an interesting and engaging read. I enjoyed it very much. And although Louise's story does not end here, I'm glad at the turn of events which indeed hint for a promising future for her.
Not being a major historical fiction or romance reader I was pleasantly taken in by the story, Louise is such a well rounded character and the story is rich and full of vibrancy.
There’s so much to like and it was such a pleasure of the senses. Louise is young and beautiful but doesn’t settle on her looks alone she is out to prove that she doesn’t need anyone but herself to rely on, her lack of maturity and naïveté though finds her in some compromising situations that tarnish her reputation, she struggles with proving to herself and others that she’s more than just a girl of loose morals. She gets frustrated quickly and her stubbornness allows her to fight for what she wants but also this same trait gets her into all sorts of trouble. She’s wilful, headstrong and speaks her mind.
An unhappy Louise an orphan at sixteen escapes her large country estate to Paris seeking information on her long lost brother, straight into the glitzy world of money and society into opera and the arts. Louise enjoys the attention lavished on her but then starts to feel trapped and constricted she seeks more, she travels as a muse to an artist who takes her on a journey first to Tahiti a place of discovery and escapism away from all the excitement and complications of Paris until she embarks on her final destination to the faraway land of Australia! I was particularly fond of the last chapters and enjoyed the historical aspects of early life in Australia, it was a real delight to follow Louise’s maturity into a woman of strong convictions and the romance element actually made for a compelling and enjoyable read. I will be happy to read on to the next instalment of the book to see where the story takes Louise!
While the cover is visually stunning, what's inside of this book is even better. The story is lush and atmospheric. Louise St Quentin, the main character, is charming and
adventurous. She's strong natured and thick-skinned. Louise is fiercely independent but desperately in need of the proper companion. Having been rejected from
birth by a distant father and absent brother, Louise is weary about men and their objectives. However, like most girls that lack a positive male role model in
their life, Louise tends to fall under the spell of older men who promise security. Louise lacks a mother's love and support. Louise doesn't fully understand
what's expected of a proper young lady. Her father shuns her, disregarding his moral obligations to his daughter, and Louise becomes a self governed free
spirit in life and love. With little connection to her family's land, Louise St Quentin embarks on adventures in Paris, living life lavishly kept. From there, she
returns home for a brief period to settle business matters that will leave her independently wealthy. Louise meets artist Clovis Bolivar, becomes his muse, and
agrees to sail with him to the Polynesian islands. Louise and Clovis spend their island adventures happily basking in the sun, lazing about, enjoying a peaceful
rhythm in the sea and sand. Bolivar paints. Louise good naturedly poses for the man she grows extremely fond of. These are happy times for both but they do not
last. Bolivar's exotic art has drawn attention to itself in the Tahitian paradise. The art world in Paris is beckoning once more. Louise and Clovis get as far as
Australia and find themselves quarantined on the ship after illness spreads. The continent of Australia holds one surprise after the other for Louise and it's
here where she truly learns to live and love. This book makes me happy and surpassed my expectations.
Found this French author on Instagram. Saw the book's cover and fell in love. Mistress Mine has earned its place as one of my favorite reads of 2016. Louise
was easy to relate to. Although beautiful, she was far from perfect. Enjoyed her spontaneity. Reminded me of, well, me. Louise traveled to several of my top bucket
list locations. That was a plus. The scenery is well described and the story flows effortlessly. My only complaint? Dubois is a French author. Her books are
treasured & enjoyed by the French speaking community. Dubois has authored several books, including the sequel to Mistress Mine. However, this is the only
book of Dubois translated into English. It's my fault. I should've paid better attention in French class, right?! That said, at the end of this book, it does
say that Tome 2, L'usine, is to be translated. I can't wait. Gorgeous book. Beautiful story.
I enjoyed Louise’s story set in the late 1800’s in France, Tahiti & Australia. Louise became an orphan and we follow her journey to becoming a strong, independent woman coming of age. It is historical fiction, filled with romance and lovely settings. Sometimes I felt I was held at a distance from the characters, but thinking that could be because the book was originally written in French and has been translated to English so sometimes I didn’t feel the connection. But all in all, I enjoyed this historical novel and if you like books set in this time period, I believe you will enjoy Mistress Mine.
Set in the 1800s, Mistress Mine is the story of Louise St Quentin, a young girl determined to find the sense of belonging and love that she lacked in her childhood; a journey that
takes her from France to Tahiti to Australia. After her mother dies bearing her, Louise is brought up by family servants, who keep her emotionally at arms
length, and is then sent to live with her father who ignores her. After his passing Louise goes to Paris in search of her brother Georges and meets Karl Meyer the
first of several men who have an important role in shaping and influencing her life.
I will admit that it take me some time to get into the book. But at the same time I was intrigued by the author’s writing. I loved the sense of atmosphere that
was being built up. I was intrigued by the lack of feminine guidance that Louise had and was wondering how aware she was that living as a man’s mistress was not
exactly socially conventional for the time. She seemed so innocent and vulnerable and you can see her grow throughout the book. What I did enjoy was the
development in Louise’s character as she uses her experience and increasing confidence in managing her estate and how this became reflected in her relations with
It was interesting to read a book set in Tahiti and Australia as I don’t usually read books set in either of these places. And I did not expect some of the
scenes that occurred. (view spoiler)
Despite my initial reservations I really started enjoying the book after the scene moved from France. And the ending made me laugh. I loved the fact that
Louise started having some proper interactions with other women; it added depth to the story. And I now want to know more about Erlina and Mrs Tyrone. (view
So overall I enjoyed the book. If like me you struggled with the beginning my advice is to keep going – it does become better and I came to really enjoy the story and feel drawn into Louise’s world. I do hope to get my hands on a copy of the second book when it is translated and published.
I enjoy art and art history, and my favorite style of art is Impressionism, so the cover of this book had me enamored from the start. Historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine,
and historical romance is sometimes a little outside my norm; however, there was plenty of archival substance to Mistress Mine, along with the romance. Also
present was gorgeously descriptive writing perfectly suitable for the time period.
This book is about Louise and her life in the mid to late 1800s living in both France and Australia. It’s obvious that quite a bit of research was done by the
author to depict this time period and each location accurately and with care. The journey to Australia by ship was especially fascinating.
Louise is a strong character and easy to love. Her story is captivating as she challenges the roles of women living during her time. This is part of a series, and I can’t wait to read where Louise takes us to next.
A captivating story, that takes place in the late 19th century, about a young girl who is orphaned and left, at the age of 16, to fend in the world by herself. Louise has a very
strong, vibrant personality and journeys out to find her estranged older brother, and in the process, begins to experience life in a way that enlightens her
spirit and, at the same time, awakens her to a reality that she has never known before.
I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next novel that will place me back into the lives of these unforgettable characters!
I'd like to thank Gabrielle Dubois for providing a free copy of Mistress Mine for an honest review. I highly recommend this historical romance novel.
"Mistress Mine is a historical romance novel and how a young girl who was not wanted by her family was able to find happiness. When Louise St Quentin turns sixteen,
her father died and left her home to her brother Georges St Quentin. However, Georges St Quentin has not visited the family estate for years, and no one knows
if he is alive or dead. The readers of Mistress Mine will continue to follow Louise St Quentin quest to find her brother.
I am so please a friend recommended this book to me. Mistress Mine is the first book I have read of Gabrielle Dubois, and I certainly enjoyed reading it. Also,
Mistress Mine was translated from French to English excellently by Jane Hentges. Gabrielle Dubois is a French author, and I impressed with her
description of living in Australia in the early eighteen century. I love Gabrielle Dubois portrayals of her characters especially Louise St Quentin and Mr
Edwards Campbell. Reading Mistress Mine highlighted for me the problems and consequences of young women who do not have the support of family.
The readers of Mistress Mine will learn about living in France in the eighteen and early nineteen century. Also, the readers of Mistress Mine will learn about
the legal ramifications when the wealthy owner of an estate in France not able to be found.
I recommend this book."
Mistress Mine...A beautiful love story, that you wanted to read more.
Louise Saint Quentin grew up without the love of parents and her brother. Her mother died giving Louise life. Her father became angry and would’ve have much to do with Louise. A brother that hated her existence.
Louise’s father died leaving the estate to her absent brother.
Louise had many admirers and was kept by them.
An unknown admirer promised his friend that he would care for Louise.
I loved how the book followed such an orderly sequence of events.
There was new excitement on every page.
I’m looking forward to the next book and the conclusion of the story
"First off, the cover of my copy is slightly different with a beautiful young woman holding a windswept parasol which I thought was absolutely lovely wishing that I could have a painting of this, that being said this story is set in the late 1860's where Louise St. Quentin, a spirited, beautiful young woman who at the age of 16 is suddenly orphaned and left with her family's estate, sad and lonely she is determined to make something of her life and the estate as she searches for her brother Georges who left for school and is actually the heir. As she waits to hear of her brother's whereabouts Louise embarks on a series of adventures and moments of self awareness to become the woman she is determined to be and not let the disappointments she encounters to stop her from what she wants out of life. Along the way Louise meets a few dashing, handsome men who will sway her heart but will not break her determined free spirit. Set right before the golden age of the Belle Epoque it is beautifully descriptive with women in their beautiful bustle skirts strolling the streets Paris to the shores of lush, beautiful Tahiti.Yes, I enjoyed this immensely, a book to get lost in."
"I absolutely loved "Mistress Mine" - an historical romance - it was an absolute gem of a story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
France, 1860 - Louise St Quentin's mother dies during her childbirth. Her father unable to deal with the grief of losing his wife spirals into depression, seeking solace in alcohol. Taking no interest at all in Louise, her upbringing is left to Marguerite and her husband Joseph who is steward on Monsieur St Quentin's farm. Louise's eight year old brother Georges, being presented with his sister for the first time, makes a decision that will affect the rest of his life and instructs Marguerite to pack his trunk as he wishes to leave for boarding school, never to return - such is his anger at losing his mother whilst giving life to Louise. 1876 sees Louise an orphan and in trying to locate her brother she ends up in the romantic and atmospheric city of Paris where her life will never be the same again.
Louise is a wonderful character, who you can't help but love and wish to protect. I had so much sympathy for her growing up without the love of her real family. She's strong willed, hard working, says what she thinks and has a very passionate nature but unfortunately so inexperienced in matters of the heart. Her naivety of men was truly frustrating at times and I found myself saying 'Louise don't!' in my head, knowing she was being taken advantage of.
I was a little confused in the first chapter as to who all the characters were, but all was revealed in the second chapter when the story relates back to when Louise was born and to how she came to be standing outside an imposing mansion in Paris at the start of the story. The author Gabrielle Dubois, who is a natural story teller - has created some wonderful characters who are perfectly portrayed and she has ensured we know all about them by explaining their history right up to the point we are introduced to them. I loved Louise and I particularly liked Clovis Bolitar's flamboyant persona.
It's obvious the author has carried out a lot of research into the period of the mid/late 1800's especially into the many variations of people's lives, even mentioning the famous Elizabeth Fry and her prison reform. I found the sea journey onboard ship to Port Jackson, Australia very interesting and the fact that disease was so commonplace on ships around that time very saddening.
There's a beautiful and apt picture on the cover of my copy of this book and it has been expertly translated from French by Jane Hentges. The ending is sadly unfinished - which may not be to some readers liking - but there is a sequel to this delightfully told story, which I do hope one day to read so as to continue with Louise's interesting life saga.
A fabulous 5 stars for a story that had me gripped from the start and for creating a character that I'm finding very hard to stop thinking about!"
by Gabrielle Dubois
As I started reading, there was this nagging feeling of familiarity tugging at my brain that I couldn’t quite place. A few more chapters and it hit me...I’m no longer a grandma and this is not 2017. I’ve just turned 12 and my English teacher introduced me to the likes of Jane Austen, Emily and Charlotte Bronte. That was the year that I went from the sandbox to the playground and from Nancy Drew to the classics. I knew I was going to enjoy Mistress Mine and Louise St Quentin as much as I did Jane Erye, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice.
Louise grew up as a forgotten and ignored child by her father. I watched as she went from managing her farming estate in the French countryside to
a life among the Parisian elites at the tender and impressionable age of sixteen. Oh, Louise made mistakes...lots of them and she had regrets too; but she learned
from them and went on. Louise had always been stubborn; but she managed to offset her stubbornness with wisdom and that only comes with experience and
mistakes. I saw Louise become a strong, independent, self assured, determined and adventurous young woman tempered with the wisdom of a woman much older…very
much like Jane, Catherine and Elizabeth. These four young women became my idols of who I wanted and strove to become. I think the four of them would have
been great friends. Oh, to be a fly on the wall to eavesdrop on their conversations!
The passages are very descriptive and detailed which makes it easy to turn off the 21st century and be transported back to the mid 1800s to get a feel for the
time and a bit of history before the birth of Louise St Quentin. This background prep is very important to the flow and feel of the entire story and is done
repeatedly throughout the book when other characters are introduced. I found myself rereading passages over and over savoring every single word. Not only
could I visualize what I read; but I could feel it and when an author can take you to that place...it is the most delightful feeling.
Parental Note: I have no problem in recommending this book to 7th graders and older. There are some some soft sexual passages; however, what is shown on TV and the movies these days, this is comparatively mild. In fact, 12 is the ideal age for this book and the others I have mentioned.
Mistress Mine by Gabrielle Dubois is a beautiful feminine book based on a young lady.... Louise... who lives in France, in the 1800's.
Louise is a herione in her own right, who wears flowing elaborate dresses.... loves fashion... quite independant, with a stubborn nature.
We travel to begin with... to France.. her home base. We are introduced to Louises life at the period between 16 - 20yrs.... on her adventures around the world to find her brother.
On her travels, she meets a few entriguing men, some inspiring, some quite manipulating .... all whom shaped her into an independant fashionable young lady.
I found this book full of information on French history, 1800's, fashion and etiquette....the book... I found to be well written, as it's orginally in French and this particular book has been translated to English..... credit also goes to the translator that made the book flow without taking away Louises
I would recommend..... Mistress Mine.... to anyone who is interested in Historical Romance with an adventure to follow... interested in the French era and anyone interested in the 1800s.
Thank you....... Gabrielle Dubois..... for creating such an uplifting.... inspiring.... feminine book.... and I would love to see the other books you have written translated to English.
I appreciate your hard work of writing skills and appreciate you as an author.
This historical of a young Parisian woman traveling the world, the men she meets, and how they change her--and vice versa--is so convincing in its characters that I was googling them to see if they were real people! It is a sure fit for anyone who loves #historicalfiction or #historicalromance My only critique is really for myself: I wish I could read it in its original French! I could "feel" the translation, which wasnt entirely bad, because it made me "hear" a french voice in the background, whispering the origional text...definately a recommendation
Really engaging enjoyable read. Louise is such a fascinating character - I spent a lot of the book thinking "GOOD GOD GIRL WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" but then I remembered how impulsive and stubborn I was at her age and I wish I'd been half as adventurous and self-assured. Don't read it at work if you blush at sex scenes,mind.