Set primarily in St. Thomas during the 1800's The Marriage of Opposites tells the story of Rachel Pomie, a young girl who dreams of Paris and refuses to live by the rules. However, she has no choice but to do so when she is to be married to a widower more than twice her age in order to save her father's business. Rachel becomes a mother to his three young children then goes on to have four of her own, the fourth one born after her husband suddenly dies. Her husband's nephew arrives from France to settle her husband's affairs since women were not allowed to do so. It is then that Rachel falls in love and goes against her family, her religion and the island of St. Thomas to follow her heart and to fight for what she truly wants.
Some chapters also tell the story of one of her sons from her second marriage - Camille Pissarro, who would one day become a famous painter.
Often times confusing keeping track of some of Rachel's family, but another well-written and interesting book from Alice Hoffman nonetheless.