The Portrait by Antoine Laurain ($21.50, Raincoast Books, Gallic Books) is the story of avid collector Pierre-Francois Chaumont who, while wandering through a Paris auction house, stumbles across an 18th century portrait of an unknown man who bares a striking resemblance to himself.

His wife doesn’t see it, nor does his circle of friends, but as Chaumont researches the painting’s history, he is presented with an opportunity to walk into a new life.

This was a quick read, I finished it in a couple of hours, but also a strange one. I felt the relationship between Chaumont and his wife was likely strained before the reader showed up and the painting might have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

The painting’s history and the choices Chaumont makes are interesting and, without giving away anything, I wonder how, in today’s world, if it could have been done.

A copy of this book was provided by Raincoast Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.