In an art gallery in Washington, DC, Rebecca is accosted by a ghost -- O-Ei, the daughter of the great Japanese printmaker Hokusai. Long consigned to a minor role as gloomy sidekick, O-Ei wants her rightful place in history.
O-Ei recounts her life with one of the great eccentrics of the nineteenth century. Dodging the Shogun’s spies, she and Hokusai live amongst actors, novelists, tattoo artists and prostitutes, making the exquisite pictures that define their time. Disguised, the pair escapes the city gates to view waves and Mount Fuji. But they return to enchanting, dangerous Edo (Tokyo), the largest city in the world.
She does not cook or sew, and is not beautiful, but O-Ei has her secret joys. Wielding her brush, O-Ei defies all expectations of womanhood -- all but one. She is dutiful until death to the exasperating father who created her and who, ultimately, steals her future. Rebecca is left to discover why and how O-Ei vanished from her own time, and from history.
Both a feat of scholarship and a breathtaking work of imagination, The Ghost Brush shines fresh light on the very contemporary issues of authorship and masterworks. But above all it illuminates the most tender and ambiguous love of all -- that between father and daughter.
Adding to Robicheaux’s troubles is the matter of his daughter, Alafair, on leave from Stanford Law to put the finishing touches on her novel. Her literary pursuit has led her into the arms of Kermit Abelard, celebrated novelist and scion of a once prominent Louisiana family whose fortunes are slowly sinking into the corruption of Louisiana’s subculture. Abelard’s association with bestselling ex-convict author Robert Weingart, a man who uses and discards people like Kleenex, causes Robicheaux to fear that Alafair might be destroyed by the man she loves. As his daughter seems to drift away from him, he wonders if he has become a victim of his own paranoia. But as usual, Robicheaux’s instincts are proven correct and he finds himself dealing with a level of evil that is greater than any enemy he has confronted in the past.
Set against the backdrop of an Edenic paradise threatened by pernicious forces, James Lee Burke’s The Glass Rainbow is already being hailed as perhaps the best novel in the Robicheaux series.