The Chinese Woman from the Painting

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The Chinese Woman from the Painting

A forthcoming novel by Florence Tholozan

Translated from the French by N. Theo

A contemporary romance, faithfully reproduced in a historical painting, directly leads a couple on a mysterious journey into the heart of China.

St Clément Authors’ Words Prize Winner, 2020; Romantic Book Prize finalist,  2019; Lions  Literature Award,  2021 finalist; Asia 2021 Award finalist; Prix des Auteurs Inconnus Shortlisted, 2020


Melisande teaches Mandarin and is passionate about China. Guillaume is an architect. Their meeting seems unexpected yet predestined. Without knowing why their love for each other is absolutely obvious to them. It is true love at first sight. One day, as Melisande and Guillaume are browsing the stands at a garage sale, their gaze falls upon a strange painting. In the foreground, they see a serene Chinese woman, while in the background they spot a couple who could easily be taken for them. They are further intrigued when they notice that Guillaume’s precious watch is faithfully reproduced and it seems that the painting really does depict them as a much older couple. How can such a coincidence be possible? Or is there something more to it?

When they decide to have this odd painting examined, Melisande and Guillaume do not yet imagine all of the secrets that the Chinese woman is hiding and how much their life will change. To unravel its mysteries, the two lovers set off on a great journey through China during which they discover the source of their unconditional love. Their shared and abiding feeling of déjà vu at last makes sense in the Chinese painting. Driven by an irresistible curiosity and guided by their feelings for each other, they make many discoveries about their common destiny, each more surprising than the last.


The Chinese Woman from the Painting

by Florence Tholozan
Release date: April 23, 2022
Genre: French-English Facing-pages Translation; Visionary Fiction; Historical; Literary Fiction; Romance
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 9781941861820


Praise for the original French version, La Chinoise du Tableau

“Winner of the Saint Clément Prix de Paroles d’auteur(e)s de Saint Clément 2020, and finalist for the 2019 Prix du Livre Romantique from the Charleston and City of Cabourg Publishing, the book tells a fascinating story of mysteries and emotions.”

“A novel evoking life’s encounters, eternal love, and plunging us into a fascinating adventure.”

Rencontre des Auteurs Francophones

“Florence Tholozan, school teacher in Castelnau, is the author of a debut novel that brings the reader to China. A welcome literary voyage during these times when borders are closed.”

Magazine de la-Ville de Castelnau le Lez

“The first words that come to mind to describe the encounter with this story are ‘sweet’ and ‘delicate’. The same sweetness and delicacy that characterizes Chinese culture, which this novel reveals better than an organized trip.”

Prix des Auteurs Inconnus

“A novel filled with tenderness, written with a fluid and easy-to-read pen.”


“I quickly became attached to Mélisende and Guillaume. They are a beautiful couple, full of tenderness and love for each other. They complement and resemble each other at the same time, these are what we call soulmates. It’s a very complete story, very well constructed, which explores all sides of a life. A little touch of magic and fantasy brings another dimension to existence.”

Marie-Nel lit

“Florence Tholozan manages to put into words the brevity of certain moments, intuitions, impressions and feelings. She translates, through language, the beauty of these moments suspended in the void, almost unreal. She finally wraps everything in a soft style, a melodic phrasing, as if not to rush these impressions, not to scare them away. ”

Zoé Prend La Plume

91 FM Plus, France – podcast

About the Author

Florence Tholozan is a teacher of clinical psychology in Hérault, France. As far back as she can remember, she has had a love of words. The Chinese Woman from the Painting is her first novel.

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