From Ahabs Wife to Abundance, the best-selling, multi-award-winning Naslund is known for creating persuasive female characters. In this novel-within-a-novel, she offers two: French painter Elisabeth Vigee-LeBrun, who barely survived the revolution, and Kathryn Callaghan, who has written a fictional account of Vigee-LeBrun. Kathryn, who is standing meditatively by the fountain of Venus Rising from the Sea as the novel opens, has spent too much time in the past and must reckon with her life in contemporary America. With a 100,000-copy first printing.