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March 24, 2021

The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

A young prodigy in need of family.
A painting that shatters a woman’s peace.
And a decades-old mystery demanding to be solved.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Girl in the Painting
March 2021; Thomas Nelson;978-0785240334
audio, ebook, print (384 pages); historical fiction
In 1906 in Australia, nine-year-old Jane Piper is rescued from the orphanage that she has lived in for her entire life.  Michael and Elizabeth Quinn, philanthropist brother and sister, have heard about her aptitude for mathematics and want to give her a chance to continue her schooling.  As her education and understanding of numbers continue, she becomes an important part of the business that the family owns and is treated as a member of the family.  When Elizabeth reacts in a strange way to a painting and almost has a breakdown, Jane realizes that she knows little about the Quinns' past and tries to solve Elizabeth's problems before she gets worse and is sent to a mental hospital as the doctor recommends.

This well-written book has a dual timeline.  The first timeline is 50 years earlier and is the story of Michael and Elizabeth emigrating from England to Australia to reunite with their parents.  This part of the novel gives a picture of the earlier life in Australia while there were people working to find gold in the streams and rivers of the desolate areas.  There they learn that their parents had died but left an auction company to their children.  Michael and Elizabeth work hard to continue the success of the business before they sold it all and moved to the city of Maitland.  Once again they took over a business and it became a success so they were able to help others and ultimately bring the orphan Jane, into their family.  

Elizabeth and Jane are both strong female characters. They both have an aptitude for numbers and Jane learns to handle the books for the business from Elizabeth.  At this time in the past, women were supposed to stay in the home but both of these women far surpassed that!  There is also a mystery about what is affecting Elizabeth's mental health and Jane is determined to solve it.

I really enjoyed The Girl in the Painting - there is family, romance, mystery, and the beautiful land of Australia.  This is the second book that I've by this author and I look forward to visiting Australia again in her next book.

Connect with Tea


Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this, thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours