Adult Fiction

The Man and the Woman

Helen McLean

ISBN: 9781770864207
Format: Trade Paperback
5.30" x 8.00"

Publication Date: Oct 21, 2014

FIC019000 FICTION / Literary
FIC014000 FICTION / Historical

“A sophisticated study of the lives of two painters […] Mclean invokes space to reveal unspoken truths about human relationships and states of mind.”
Literary Review of Canada


In 1946, a Canadian girl arrives in war-scarred London to study art at the Slade School. At the same time, Bonnard ― the elderly French artist whose work first ignited her passion for painting ― looks back on his career.

From the moment she lands in England, Elizabeth’s life begins to mirror Bonnard’s past experience: Bonnard’s father pressed him into a hated career in law; similarly, Elizabeth’s parents urge her to take a university degree “to fall back on” after she marries. Just as brilliant young Bonnard was swept into the exhilarating literary and artistic world of an avant-garde magazine, Elizabeth is absorbed into the quasi-communal ménage of a prominent London art dealer and his family, whose encouragement helps her achieve success as a portraitist.

Their separate but parallel journeys lead both Elizabeth and Bonnard to the same revelation: public acclaim is not enough; to truly live a life governed by a peeled-eye investigation of the visible world, sacrifices must be made.