The Velveteen Daughter is beautifully written novel based on the true story of Margery Williams Bianco, author of The Velveteen Rabbit, the beloved children’s book, her husband, Francesco and their brilliant daughter, Pamela —who was a child art prodigy.
Alternating between Margery and Pamela’s voice, Laurel Davis Huber’s debut novel fascinates readers with a glimpse of the dynamic and innovative creativity of the art movement in 1920s Europe and America, while exploring issues of love and madness, art and creativity, family and motherhood.
Huber paints a vivid portrait of the colourful, chaotic, and bohemian life of artists in New York and Italy and introduces readers to literary and artistic people such as Pablo Picasso, Eugene O’Neill and Richard (Diccon) Hughes, that are friends or relatives of the Biancos.
This well-researched narrative takes place over the course of a few days, but through flashbacks and imagination, we experience the emotional cycles of Pamela’s manic highs and devastating lows from both mother and daughter’s eyes throughout nearly 45 years. Ms. Huber draws a compelling portrait of Margery and Pamela’s relationship— she writes the Biancos’ story with a poignancy that is smooth and easy — the blending of fact and fiction perfectly balanced.
The central theme of The Velveteen Rabbit — what it means to be real and to be loved — is evident throughout The Velveteen Daughter as we witness Pamela’s struggle to find confidence in her self and to be loved for who she is. We see Margery’s worry and love for her daughter never wavering.
I adored The Velveteen Rabbit when I was a child and I still have warm memories of reading the book — and I loved The Velveteen Daughter as well. It is an introspective journey drawn through Margery and Pamela’s memories — an easy to read and captivating work. Laurel Davis Huber brings Pamela Bianco out of the forgotten annals of history with bold strokes that paint a bittersweet and haunting story bringing recognition of Pamela’s genius and contribution to the art world.
A story that had to be written… and read.
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