Book Club Discussion: The Last Painting of Sara De Vois

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Last Painting of Sara De Vois by Dominic Smith. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • What does At the Edge of a Wood mean to Sara, Marty, and Ellie? How did your reactions to the painting shift throughout the novel?
  • What empowers Ellie and Sara despite the chauvinism they face when they launch their respective careers?
  • Consider the author’s decision to make the Dutch Golden Age his backdrop. What particular qualities permeate the novel as a result of that choice?
  • Does At the Edge of a Wood convey any messages that endure across the centuries? What would Sara think if she could have known the fate of her work?

Questions from publisher.

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Book Reveal: The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

The second book choice for the May “Canvas + Color” box is The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith!

In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke’s in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain–a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she’s curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. As the three threads intersect, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerizes while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present.