Marriage of Opposites details the life of Rachel Pomié Petit Pizzarro, mother of the famous impressionist painter Camille Pizzarro. It serves to bring a layer of depth not only into the life of Rachel, but the life and artistic endeavors of Camille Pizzarro. As mentioned in Alice Hoffman's afterword, a majority of the story is built on fact-any imaginations beyond what has been presented to the modern day were created for the fluidity of the novel, but often fell behind what was the real-life story of the Pomié, Petit, and Pizzarro families.
A majority of this novel takes place in the capital of St. Thomas, Charlotte Amalie. It also partially takes place in Paris-a place Rachel often dreamt of visiting as a child, and eventually lived in as an adult. The community of Jewish refugees to which Rachel's family belongs is chock-full of extremely pious people, oftentimes leading Rachel into difficult situations with both her mother and the congregation.
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