Design a site like this with
Get started

Review: Mrs Van Gogh by Caroline Cauchi

Hey everyone!
Today I will be sharing my review of Mrs Van Gogh by Caroline Cauchi with you all.

Title: Mrs Van Gogh
Author: Caroline Cauchi
Release Date: 30th January 2023 
Publisher: One More Chapter
Page Count: 484
Genre: Historical Fiction
Buy It Here (affiliate links): Amazon UKWaterstonesBook Depository

GoodReads Synopsis:

She’s been painted out of history…until now

Who tells her story?

In 1890, Vincent Van Gogh dies penniless, unknown, a man tortured by his own mind.

Eleven years later his work is exhibited in Paris and his unparalleled talent finally recognised. The tireless efforts of one woman gave the world one of its greatest creative minds.

But twenty-eight year old Johanna Van Gogh-Bonger, Vincent’s sister-in-law and the keeper of his immense collection of paintings, sketches and letters, has, until now, been written out of history. This beautiful, moving novel finally gives this extraordinary woman a voice…

My Review:

From the moment I heard about Mrs Van Gogh, I knew I had to read it. Vincent Van Gogh is one of my biggest inspirations, and his story is one that fascinates me, but not a lot of people know how important his sister in law was to his story and success. I was extremely lucky to receive a copy of the book through NetGalley, and since finishing it, I have bought myself a physical copy because I just HAD to have it on my shelves. Before I get in to the rest of my review, I just want give a quick mention to one small detail that I absolutely loved, which is that Caroline Cauchi titled every chapter (excluding the diary entries) with the name of a Van Gogh piece, which I thought was a very clever touch.

The story begins with Johanna Bonger before she knew her future husband, Theo Van Gogh. After a recent affair which left her disgraced and jobless, Jo finds herself in Paris, to stay with her brother, Andries, while things blow over. Jo’s love of art is an integral part of this story. As an aspiring female artist in a world that still doesn’t accept women within the art world, Jo is determined to make a change. Andries has many connections within the art world of Paris, male and female, and is more than happy to introduce and show off his sister. She soon makes the acquaintance of Theo Van Gogh, and is introduced to his troubled brother Vincent.

The relationship was turbulent to say the least, and Theo’s love for his brother often created problems within his relationship with Jo. He was completely and utterly devoted to Vincent, they had a connection that no-one could even come close to, not even Jo. The story shows the deterioration of Vincent’s sanity, and how it effected those around him, alongside Jo’s struggles within her family and also the views of the world she lived in. I loved travelling through Jo’s journey, from the very beginning, to her first meeting with Theo, to the very end.

The book gives a very clear insight in to how women of that time were viewed, particularly in the art world, and how women began to fight back. Not only did we hear Jo’s story, but also the devastating stories of other female characters, which take you on such an emotional journey. These powerful, ambitious, talented women were seen as nothing more than a male’s play thing. They lived in a man’s world, and daring to be different, and to step out of the dutiful housewife role had such huge effects on their lives, and not in a positive way. They were judged, ridiculed, and ostracised by everyone around them, and although we still have a way to go, it makes me so glad that I live in a time where the views of women has moved so far forward.

The final few chapters broke me, but not in a bad way. After everything she went through, Jo never gave up on the Van Gogh brothers, and never gave up on Vincent’s art. Her perseverance paid off in ways that no-one could have imagined, and Vincent’s work was finally given the spotlight that it deserved. As someone who admires Van Gogh’s work so greatly, that final chapter where Vincent’s Portrait of Dr Gachet sells for 82.5 million dollars truly moved me, it brought me to tears. It was the same well of emotion, and overwhelming feeling of awe and appreciation that swells within me every time I see a piece of his work in person, and it’s a feeling that I will never fully be able to explain.

This book was everything I had hoped it would be, and I will be thinking about it for a long time. However, it is important to remember that this is a dramatised version of events, and not everything in this book is fact. The story of Johanna Van Gogh-Bonger is so important to the success of Vincent’s work, one that needs to be more appreciated, and one that needs to be told more often. Without Jo, the world probably wouldn’t even know one of the greatest artists to have ever lived. Hopefully through this book, Johanna’s story will be much more recognised, and for that I want to say a huge thank you to Caroline Cauchi for creating this beautiful, moving, and incredible version of events.

I give Mrs Van Gogh an easy 5 star rating!

Disclaimer: My posts often include affiliate links, which means that I receive a small commission for any purchase made through my links, but with no extra charge to you. Thank you for supporting me and my blog.

Twitter – Facebook – Instagram – GoodReads – TikTok – Mastodon – Etsy Store – Wish List


4 thoughts on “Review: Mrs Van Gogh by Caroline Cauchi

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: