I Once Knew Vincent
Signed by Author Michelle Rene.
First place category award winner of the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction.
In 1882, there was an artistic explosion of creativity in Europe. To a poor girl, Maria, and her alcoholic, prostitute mother, Sien, in The Hague, Netherlands, that didn't mean much until one winter evening when her mother brought Vincent Van Gogh to their home. Before his stint in Paris with the bohemian painters of his day, Van Gogh tried for a family life while learning the trade of art. Seminary school was a failure, and his cousin Klee had rejected his romantic advances. He took solace with this poor girl named Maria and her mother Sien, determined to make them all a family. Maria, a hardened, honest girl, becomes Vincent's secret art critic. With an emotional artist for a friend and an alcoholic woman for a mother, Maria burdens herself as the responsible person in the family and tries desperately to keep them together. The short year and a half with Vincent forever changes Maria.