This novel spans from 19th-century St. Louis to the island of Martinique and New York City in the 20th century. When her controlling great-aunt dies, Deborah Huntworth, widow of a much older husband, can finally pursue her dream of becoming an artist. She returns to Martinique to reunite with her child, but tragedy strikes, changing her life forever. She then moves to New York, determined to pursue her art. There, despite disasters and mistakes, she attempts to share her work and support herself as the early 20th century unfolds around her.
Deborah’s Gift is the story of a woman who is intent on expressing herself, despite the attempts of others to control her. She is a free spirit in both her art and her actions. Her freedom of character explodes from the page, and we see quite a remarkable person who was born into times that tried to constrain her. There is an amazing cast of characters, who, whether wicked, judgmental, or loving, are vividly painted on the canvas of this book. This portrait of a woman’s life is full of creativity, passion, tragedy, and loss. It is a gripping read. Fans of art and American history, plus anyone interested in the eruption of Mount Pelée in 1902, will be captivated.