The Strange And Deadly Portraits Of Bryony Gray

The Strange And Deadly Portraits Of Bryony Gray

A Tim Burtonesque retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray aimed at Middle Graders. The most peculiar things always happen to Bryony Gray. As if it isn’t bad enough that her uncle keeps her locked in the attic, forcing her to paint for hisrich clients, she’s becoming rather well known in the art world… since all her customers seem to go missing.When her newest painting esc...

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Title:The Strange And Deadly Portraits Of Bryony Gray
Author:E. Latimer
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Strange And Deadly Portraits Of Bryony Gray Reviews

  • B.A. Williamson

    What a fantastic and wonderful read. Bryony Gray is a spirited girl in Victorian England. Her Aunt and Uncle keep her locked in the attic, where she's forced to paint portraits for the London gentry. He rportaits are wonderful and lifelike... too much so. The portraits come to life and start terrorizing the city. With the help of two quirky children from next door, Bryony must get to the bottom of the that plagues the Gray family, a curse brought upon them by her father... Dorian.

    I loved this bo

    What a fantastic and wonderful read. Bryony Gray is a spirited girl in Victorian England. Her Aunt and Uncle keep her locked in the attic, where she's forced to paint portraits for the London gentry. He rportaits are wonderful and lifelike... too much so. The portraits come to life and start terrorizing the city. With the help of two quirky children from next door, Bryony must get to the bottom of the that plagues the Gray family, a curse brought upon them by her father... Dorian.

    I loved this book! I am a sucker for spunky girls on madcap adventures. Parts of this book played out like the best Doctor Who episodes, with creepy pictures crawling out of paintings and mirrored reflections coming to life. My favorite part is the innocent and intriguing hints at the relationship between Bryony and Mira, which was dealt with tastefully for the age group, and realistically for the time period. Well plotted, with twists I didn't see coming, and with a writing style that made me want to curl up with a blanket and a cup of tea. (Which I did.) I would highly recommend.

  • Jill Jemmett

    The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favourite Victorian novels. This is a great sequel to the story.

    This story had great pacing. Bryony’s paintings began to come to life right at the beginning. It was so creepy! It kept me hooked through the whole story. I really couldn’t predict what was going to happen next, so I was always surprised.

    I think this story is actually creepier than The Picture of Dorian Gray. Though it is a sequel, it follows Gray’s daughter, so it is for a younger audience. I

    The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favourite Victorian novels. This is a great sequel to the story.

    This story had great pacing. Bryony’s paintings began to come to life right at the beginning. It was so creepy! It kept me hooked through the whole story. I really couldn’t predict what was going to happen next, so I was always surprised.

    I think this story is actually creepier than The Picture of Dorian Gray. Though it is a sequel, it follows Gray’s daughter, so it is for a younger audience. I loved this story and I got a lot out of it, even though it is aimed toward middle grade readers. It is a great choice for both young readers and older fans of Dorian Gray and Oscar Wilde.

    After reading this book, I’ll never look at paintings the same way again!

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher on NetGalley.

  • Chazzi

    Thirteen Bryony Gray has an exceptional talent for one her age - she can paint incredible portraits of people. Incredibly life-like!

    She is being raised by her aunt and uncle, who know of this talent and keep her locked up and living in the attic. She is allowed downstairs when a rich client comes to sit for their portrait. She has become quite well known and her aunt and uncle are raking in the money, but Bryony wants to be free. She also wants to know about her parents and what is so scandalous

    Thirteen Bryony Gray has an exceptional talent for one her age - she can paint incredible portraits of people. Incredibly life-like!

    She is being raised by her aunt and uncle, who know of this talent and keep her locked up and living in the attic. She is allowed downstairs when a rich client comes to sit for their portrait. She has become quite well known and her aunt and uncle are raking in the money, but Bryony wants to be free. She also wants to know about her parents and what is so scandalous about them that makes her aunt and uncle unwilling to tell her.

    When clients go missing after receiving their portraits, and the most recent portrait comes to life before Bryony's eyes, it is apparent there is something drastic about her talent and family history. Bryony sets out to find out exactly what it is.

    Making friends with the beautiful girl next door and her nervous brother, the trio fin themselves in the middle of an eerie, fast moving and terrifying adventure. Meeting unusual characters along the way, while trying to keep out of the clutches of paintings that have suddenly come to life, the children find themselves in a whirlwind of action and adventure in Victorian London.

    This book has action, imagination and excitement from the beginning and it doesn't let up. When you think you'll stop at the end of a paragraph, you find that 'maybe just one more' pulls you on through the book.

    The characters also grow and find more confidence in themselves than they though they had. Also that friendships can be as strong as family bonds, when at the start there was no common connection.

    Written for the Young Adult audience, I think even adults would thoroughly enjoy it.

  • Ivonne Rovira

    Psst!

    proves a book in which it would be much too easy to say too much. Orphaned Bryony lives with her weak Uncle Bernard and his domineering, social-climbing wife, Gertrude. Like her disgraced father (about which nothing is said, although Bryony knows Uncle Bernard and Aunt Gertrude whisper about him and his rakish life), Bryony has an incredible gift for painting. But she also has a stubborn independent streak and a volcanic temper.

    So, for the pa

    Psst!

    proves a book in which it would be much too easy to say too much. Orphaned Bryony lives with her weak Uncle Bernard and his domineering, social-climbing wife, Gertrude. Like her disgraced father (about which nothing is said, although Bryony knows Uncle Bernard and Aunt Gertrude whisper about him and his rakish life), Bryony has an incredible gift for painting. But she also has a stubborn independent streak and a volcanic temper.

    So, for the past six years, Bryony has been locked in the attic, forced to paint portraits of wealthy snobs. Now 14, Bryony has been planning her escape to find her father, whom she is certain is still alive, despite what Aunt Gertrude says. But her escape comes earlier than expected when her portraits begin to — but that would be giving away too much!

    Instead, she meets the children who live next door, the adventurous 13-year-old Mira Griffin and her cowardly older brother Thompson. The clever threesome embark on adventures that will keep you glued to this book until the very last satisfying page.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley, Penguin Random House Canada and Tundra Books in exchange for an honest review.

  • Krysti

    My favorite book of the year so far! The premise of this story is so smart and creative. I love the way the author incorporated elements from THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. There is a creepy yet whimsical tone to the story that I couldn’t get enough of. The characters are enchanting, and I for one am hoping for more middle grade books from E. Latimer in the future!

  • Devann

    So I would classify this more as a 'middle grade sequel' to the Picture of Dorian Gray [a truly hilarious sentence when you stop to think about it] rather than a retelling because it is literally set after the original novel [although also in a world where Dorian Gray was apparently a real person that Oscar Wilde knew ...] with Bryony being Dorian's daughter.

    Overall it's a really fun read. The way the author writes the paintings coming out of th

    So I would classify this more as a 'middle grade sequel' to the Picture of Dorian Gray [a truly hilarious sentence when you stop to think about it] rather than a retelling because it is literally set after the original novel [although also in a world where Dorian Gray was apparently a real person that Oscar Wilde knew ...] with Bryony being Dorian's daughter.

    Overall it's a really fun read. The way the author writes the paintings coming out of their frames and the way they move is incredibly vivid and definitely causes you to bring up some terrifying images in your mind. I really liked Bryony and the brother-and-sister duo that helped her throughout the story. I think that overall it's a very fun - yet still faintly horrifying - read and one of those rare middle grade books that are just as enjoyable for adults as they are for children.

    I do have one bone to pick though, and that is the fact that neither Oscar Wilde nor Dorian Gray's sexuality is ever brought up. I guess you can say that's not relevant to the plot in this particular book but it is DEFINITELY relevant to the plot of the original and I can't help but feel that the entire thing was glossed over because it's a children's book which is just sad.

  • Laura

    When I was in London, a number of years ago, I got turned around on Oxford Street. Oxford Street is a broad, straight road, in the center of London, well known for its shops. It was originally a Roman road, back when London was under Roman rule, and the Romans are well known for building straight roads, because that is the way they worked.

    I bring this up because, although this novel never said

    it took place, exactly, it is clear that a) it is taking place in London around the early 1900, a

    When I was in London, a number of years ago, I got turned around on Oxford Street. Oxford Street is a broad, straight road, in the center of London, well known for its shops. It was originally a Roman road, back when London was under Roman rule, and the Romans are well known for building straight roads, because that is the way they worked.

    I bring this up because, although this novel never said

    it took place, exactly, it is clear that a) it is taking place in London around the early 1900, after Queen Victoria has died, and b) after Oscar Wilde has died. Although it is a fantasy, it based in reality, because that is the way historical fiction is. So, knowing that, why not be a little more accurate? Seeing how Oxford Street is long and straight, why say that it is winding and narrow? If you need a winding narrow street, choose another street.

    In another scene, Bryony, who has only left her attic once, notices that there are Teddy bears at a child's table, as though having a tea party. The problem is, Teddy bears were invented in 1903, and while the story might be taking place in 1903, and the other character might have the latest new toy, how would Bryony have heard of them, seeing how new they were? Choose another toy to have at your tea party.

    And why have your character be friends with Oscar Wilde, who went to Paris, after he was released from prison, and died there. No reference is made to Paris, when the character, Constantine, mentions being, or talking to Oscar before he died.

    These are the things that take me out of the story. It happens every time I read a book where I know a little bit about, and it throws me off.

    Look, I get it is a middle-grade book. I really do. But good historical novels try to keep a bit in check, and when they don't, they explain why, at least. This novel never did.

    And one last problem I have, the way painting is depicted. My grandmother was a painter (she actually worked for Walt Disney studios, back in the 1930s. My daughter is an artist. I am friends with artists. I have

    heard of painting with, what, watercolor, the way Bryony does. Perhaps it is oils, but even so. Perhaps it is the magic, but it sounds very odd.

    Is there something I liked about the novel? Yes, the brother and sister pair that help to solve the mystery. For Mira and Thomas, I give this novel three stars. But, if you like the book

    don't go into this book expecting anything like that. It is

    by the book, the part of about wanting to be young and beautiful part. And it has got some exciting bits, so for that, it can keep its three stars.

    Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  • Marzie

    This book, targeted to the Middle-Grade reader, is an imaginative spin-off from Oscar Wilde's

    It's a clever enough idea but research issues and anachronisms kind of tanked my enjoyment of the book. Set around November 1901, (as discerned from a reference to Oscar Wilde's death being almost exactly a year ago, factually November 30th 1900), there are oddities that show a lack of research thoroughness on the part of the author and editor. While I get that children migh

    This book, targeted to the Middle-Grade reader, is an imaginative spin-off from Oscar Wilde's

    It's a clever enough idea but research issues and anachronisms kind of tanked my enjoyment of the book. Set around November 1901, (as discerned from a reference to Oscar Wilde's death being almost exactly a year ago, factually November 30th 1900), there are oddities that show a lack of research thoroughness on the part of the author and editor. While I get that children might be less affected by Queen Victoria's death in 1901, the somber tone in England (where they even used black edged stationery for the year following her death in January 1901) isn't captured. Furthermore, there are references to teddy bears, which were not even a thing until 1903, when simultaneously developed in the US and Germany (the latter by Stieff) as a reference to a cartoon image of US President Teddy Roosevelt. Anyway, it's the little things. Sadly this book arrived after my recent reading of Catherynne Valente's meticulously researched

    about the Brontës at Haworth and it suffers in comparison. I was also bothered by the sketchiness of Bryony's painting style (excuse the awful pun there) since I paint and it is clear the author doesn't have a feel for painting and various media.

    Middle-Grade readers will no doubt not be troubled by a discerning adult reader's concerns about accuracy. They might even be tempted to pick up Wilde's book, which would be a good thing.

  • Ms. Yingling

    Copy provided by the publisher

    Bryony Gray's mother is dead, and her father is probably as well, so she has been kept in the attic by her aunt and uncle, and forced to use her considerable artistic talent to paint portraits of the well-to-do to earn money. When the last three people who sit for her go missing, a huge scandal surrounds her work, but it also makes her more desirable as an artist. When other creepy things start happening with her paintings, Bryony is bound and determined to investig

    Copy provided by the publisher

    Bryony Gray's mother is dead, and her father is probably as well, so she has been kept in the attic by her aunt and uncle, and forced to use her considerable artistic talent to paint portraits of the well-to-do to earn money. When the last three people who sit for her go missing, a huge scandal surrounds her work, but it also makes her more desirable as an artist. When other creepy things start happening with her paintings, Bryony is bound and determined to investigate information she has about her father. This takes her in search of a book binder, and puts her in contact with a brother and sister, Thompson and Mira, who want to help her. There is a connection to Oscar Wilde's new book, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, and the children must investigate this, as well as a grimoire, before even more terrible things happen.

    Strengths: This definitely had a very creepy Victorian London air to it, reminiscent of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, A Drowned Maiden's Hair, or Lemony Snicket. I can also see fans of V.C. Andrews Flowers in the Attic buying into the aunt and uncle's treatment of Bryony. The art angle will also attract some readers who like mysteries like those of Blue Balliet's.

    Weaknesses: The time period is not explicitly stated, but the historical details were wanting. Some didn't seem quite right, and the dialogue, characters and settings seemed more modern to me.

    What I really think: Middle grade readers will enjoy the creepy portions of this without thinking about the historical information too much, but I would have enjoyed it more if the deliciously creepy details of Victorian London were captured more accurately.

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