I read Still Life with Strings twice because I enjoyed it so much; it may not be as different as her Painted Faces, but something in it worked for me. I enjoyed her and him and how we meet them both in their respective “after’s.”
The big things that have happened to either has them living their life a certain way; that they meet at that time, makes their connection even more (I could say “too” romantic except I really did enjoy this one) because there’s no saving here; they’re both past that, and as said, living in each their what-after’s.
Them looking back has less to do with them being stuck in the past; it’s more of the two marked by it, so clearly neither of them led easy lives; the decisions she’s made on how to live and why is something else altogether as time and again it pressed on what they could become… were becoming. Him, and his history though less felt, was still present. He is, in fact, just as marked (fragile?) as she.
Eventually the connections made and eventually revealed set their story apart even more. Known to one but not the other, how deep and how unexpected their connection is adds to the romance of things.