Viper Wine

by Hermoine Eyre

I really liked this strange story of a real 17th Century couple and the wife’s dogged pursuit of beauty. I loved the witty and naughty parallels with the modern world of chemically produced beauty warding off age, and the anachronistic introduction of modern products and commentators on today’s madness.


And like an abysm of mirrors, the illusions carried on, so that it was declared at court that Venetia had never looked more gracious, never commanded such noble charm. The cleverness of the portrait was that Van Dyck had not overstated his case, but given her an aura of tired elegance, a mildly enervated wanes, and – most clever of all – she looked very like the Queen. Even though the Queen was ten years younger.

Venetia’s likeness went out into the world, on billboards, on a big screen, displayed, retouched, elongated, a fantasy, a capriccio of perfection, and it barely mattered what her own self had become. The images were so much more powerful than she.


The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

Read Extract

Books with similar rating


1. Select UK region:

Not in the UK?

Scotland Norther Ireland North East of England North West of England Yorkshire and the Humber Wales West Midlands East Midlands East of England London South West of England South East of England

Sign in


Whichbook Sign Up

Enter your email address to get started:

First name:
Last name:
Confirm password:


Email alerts are only available for registered users.