decorated boards, 143 pp., ISBN 978–3–791–34695–3, $24.95.
French painter Claude Monet (1840–1926) gave title to a style of painting, Impressionism, which gradually became popular during the last half of the nineteenth century. Changing light conditions out–of–doors, the colors of the seasons, and the striking beauty of nature became the theme of his artistic works which were expressed through dabs of color on canvas. Despite critical reviews of both his paintings and lifestyle, Monet’s garden helped to win him public favor. Author Doris Kutschbach tells how his garden became both his subject and his studio. Her portrayal of the artist is well-rounded and a pleasure to read; it includes some of the intimate details of his family life, his artistic development (through reproductions of popular paintings), and his magical garden’s development. Pages are also filled with photographs of the friends he entertained at his home at Giverny, the menus of his favorite meals, the sunlit interior of his home and studio, and the art colony he attracted to his community.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden