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Undrawn [Kindle Edition]

Conchie Fernandez , D. Michael Whelan , Pascal Sacleux , Marian Balcacer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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God Help the Child
A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.

Book Description

Kyle Reed stands on the verge of his lifelong dream of artistic immortality when a call from his estranged older brother Stuart puts a halt to everything in his carefully constructed life. Kyle faces the impossible decision to go back "home" and attempt to undo the many painful choices he made that severed his ties with his family and the woman he once loved.

As he steps into the house he grew up in, Kyle revisits the lives he led. He walks through the elegant rooms where he learned to keep quiet to avoid his father's temper, and dealt with the debilitating disease that opened the doorway to his art. In his journey through his past, he assesses the perilous habits that distanced him from his family, the bitter enmities that still ravage his peace, and the surprising loyalty he finds in the people who surround him.

Kyle juggles with the present and the past and he clings to sanity through his art, the passion that has become his true north. Between the sculptures and images that fill his spaces and canvases, lie the crucial aspects of his life that he's been avoiding for years: the icon he destroyed, the crime that still fills him with shame, and the forgiveness he never offered...or received.

Editorial Reviews


In "Undrawn", the imminent death of his tyrannical father Brandon forces frail, thirty-six-year-old painter Kyle to return to his boyhood home after a self-imposed exile. While there, the past catches up to the son, and he finds himself facing old family rifts, former girlfriends, crimes of passion, and, most of all, the overwhelming urge to be loved and accepted. Conchie Fernandez's debut novel shifts between the past and present as Kyle seeks absolution in a world where many factors are unknown.

The protagonist's struggles are witnessed by his sneering brother Stuart, who has secrets of his own, his affectionate brother Troy, and his selfless mother, Norma, who possesses more concern about Kyle's diabetes than about her own emotional well-being in the wake of Brandon's death. Also populating the story are Kyle's contacts in the art world, as well as past and present lovers, all with distinct traits.

As a former newspaper editor and present-day creative writing teacher, Fernandez eloquently captures the subtleties of human relationships. Readers clearly see the protagonist hurting because of his father's control, even as he holds out hope that Brandon will someday acknowledge his art.

Art isn't the only thing about Kyle that Brandon fails to accept; he does not believe that his son is truly ill. To hear Brandon accuse Kyle, a diabetic, of trying to manipulate his father's emotions by having an attack is truly horrifying. When juxtaposed against Norma and Troy's caring attitude toward the sickly Kyle, Brandon's indifference becomes all the more cruel. Kyle and Troy behave like real brothers. Beneath their profanity-laced dialogue brims love and protectiveness. In a novel loaded with machismo, it is refreshing to see Troy and Kyle hug, both in the past and the present.

"Undrawn" refreshes the trope of the tortured artist. Readers see how Kyle is haunted by his past while he suffers from occasional diabetic attacks. Kyle's physical and mental suffering is poignantly rendered, although occasionally his diabetic attacks seem like convenient plot devices. Fernandez masterfully immerses readers in the world of Kyle's canvas, so that they paint right along with the artist.

On the whole, "Undrawn" is a well-realized portrait of conflict and forgiveness. --****Jill Allen, Clarion ForeWord Review, Apr. 23, 2011 (Excerpt)

"Conchie Fernandez's Opera Prima, 'Undrawn'". When I finished reading "Undrawn", I felt the sort of thrill you get when you discover something important. The most recent of a line of Dominican novelists to publish their works in English has debuted with a novel which, in my opinion, firmly establishes her as a serious author with an excellent grip on the profound complexities of the human soul.

Conchie immigrated to the United States a few years ago and just published her first novel, "Undrawn", which spans 218 pages. I think she knew she was going to be a writer since she was very young, and her passion for literature made her a great reader. She was a creative writing teacher at Casa Chavon. Her links to art and artists is evident from the first pages of her work of fiction, which narrates the life of Kyle Reed, a tormented painter who returns to his paternal home after a self-imposed emotional exile when his father, an affluent and powerful Massachusetts senator, dies.

In a recent interview, Conchie states that "'Undrawn' is about self-forgiveness, about the love that surrounds us and that we often fail to recognize. Ultimately, it's about the intricate brushstrokes that make up familial ties and intimate relationships."

Conchie -a fan of John Irving- defines her novel as a "literary painting" that took her ten years to complete. "In my dealings with artists both as a collector and a student of Liberal Arts, I couldn't help but fall in awe and fascination with the intricacies of the lives and personalities of many painters and sculptors I met. I felt I had to tell the story of an artist, of the layers of thought, concept and vision that fill the minds of artists, the impact of their lives on their art and viceversa," she said. When asked what advice she would offer other budding authors, she said, "Don't give up. If you can't get into the top 6 publishing houses, don't despair. Technology and amazing resources (like self-publishing portals) give us tools, access and resources we couldn't have dreamed of 10 years ago. Write your fingers off, make sure you write your best book possible, and then shout it out to the world. Readers will come, but your first task as a writer is simply to put it down."

As it often happens, "Undrawn", a magnificent and convincing novel, was self-published by the author. -- Jose Baez Guerrero, "Opiniones", Hoy Newspaper, santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Apr. 15, 2011 (Translation)

From the Author

Hi! I'm really grateful that you're reading Kyle's story.

I wrote the first draft of "Undrawn" probably 20 years ago, and Kyle was originally called Drew Davidson. For some odd reason, years later when I wrote yet another draft, I felt the name "Drew" didn't fit him. I was a little restless while I looked for another name, and then one day as I was watching "Dune" (and read Frank Herbert's book, "Dune", if you haven't) I got it. The main character in Dune was played by Kyle MacLachlan, whom I loved, and I knew that was my character's name. And so Drew became Kyle. I didn't care for "Kyle Davidson", I didn't feel the last name told me much about him. So I spent a couple more days wondering about the last name, and I chose the last name of someone who was very special to one of my best friends. I changed the spelling a little, and so his last name became Reed. I felt the word 'reed' described Kyle a little: tall, thin, strong, clinging fiercely to the water and land where he's rooted, but wanting to sway in the wind, dance, go with the flow, create a nice melody. That's my boy.

When I wasn't able to get a publisher for "Undrawn", I put the book to rest for a couple of years. Ten, exactly. Life went on, but I felt an emptiness and persistent grief that I couldn't do away with. Nothing made me feel fulfilled, and I felt like I had failed myself, failed the little girl I once was, who wanted nothing more than to be an author. But most importantly, I felt I failed Kyle, who had visited my mind many years before, and confided his story to me. And so one day in July 2009 I sat down to listen to him again, and this time his story was richer, fuller, tri-dimensional. He unveiled his childhood, which I hadn't seen or heard before. I understood him better this time around, because I knew where he came from, what his childhood and adolescence were like. What his struggles were, as a child who is different, like many of us are.

When I first wrote Kyle's story, my father was alive. I wrote about Kyle's feelings for his father (which are completely opposite to my feelings for my wonderful Dad) as best as I could imagine, as best as Kyle would recount. When I wrote the final draft of "Undrawn" - which you're reading now - I had already lost my Dad. I believe authors can imagine and write about things we might never really experience, and if we do a good job, you'll believe our words. Writing about loss and grief after losing my own dear father made all the difference in my final draft. Experience does add a great deal of depth and color to writing.

I added one new character to this final draft, and I can't really share much about this person; you'll discover this character as you read my book. And I added a lot more love, compassion and hope to this final version. As I grew and lived, I realized that I will always choose to write about change, evolution, groping for the light. We face enough challenges along the way and it's not my place to add pessimism or negativity to our beautiful planet. Life is wonderful. I've had a lot of love, light and open doors along the way. I can only hope to share a story that reminds us that no matter what happens, we should always walk toward a bright and open door.

Thank you for listening to Kyle's story. He's been with me a very long time; I give him to you with all my gratitude.

Product Details

  • File Size: 674 KB
  • Print Length: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Conchworks; First Edition edition (February 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #952,525 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undrawn is Well-drawn March 18, 2011
Debut novelist Conchie Fernandez has shown in her just released novel Undrawn that she is a voice deserving to be heard, and heard widely. Undrawn chronicles the present day story of the powerful Reed family. The central character is Kyle Reed, whose gifts and talents are unfathomable to his US Senator father Brandon Reed and his domineering older brother Stuart Reed (who also becomes a US Senator from Massachusetts). Even his gay younger brother Troy is more accepted in the family as Troy at least follows the approved Reed family script in becoming a Harvard educated lawyer.

Kyle suffers from juvenile diabetes and uses his condition as a way to distance himself from his peers and family alike. As Kyle's extraordinary artistic talents become apparent, he further separates himself geographically and emotionally from his family. His success as an artist belies his inner turmoil and Kyle descends into a drug-riddled pit, artfully told by Fernandez. The book (particularly the ending) is emotionally satisfying and thought provoking. I endorse this work.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, A Great First Novel! March 16, 2011
By Jacque
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Undrawn is about a man who wants to live his own life, not the life his rich father wants him to live, to be a lawyer and follow in the family business. Although Kyle has diabetes, he doesn't let that get in his way of wanting to be an artist and to live his own life away from the family home in Boston. He falls in love with another artist and follows her to Chicago where he becomes a famous artist in his own right.

Ms Fernandez gets down deep within the recesses of her main character's mind where we see him fight with himself of what is expected of him and what he wants to do. As a reader, I can sympathize and empathize with his feelings about his childhood, growing up under his father's notion of what he wants his child to be and not what the child wants to be. We can feel Kyle's hurt, his pain, his love, his losses, his dreams and his torturing himself over the eventual loss of his father and how they did not get along while Kyle lived in the family home. We can see Kyle slowly change from a shy, introverted young boy/man to someone who knows he needed to change and does something about it. Her characters are ones you love to hate -- Kyle's brother Stuart and his son, Chad; to ones you love to love -- Kyle's younger brother, Troy and Stuart's daughter, Jeannie. I like the way Kyle thinks and reflects. He is a very likable and believable character. I can see the places in my mind as well as the paintings, the colors in the paintings,
what the characters felt.

Ms. Fernandez's first novel has my 5 star rating and I recommend reading it.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you don't like cussing in books stay away! July 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Let me start of this review with a warning. If you don't like a LOT of cussing in books do not pick this up. The overuse of the F word and GD got really old, really fast. The fact that GD was used 5 times in a few sentences once almost made me just put the whole book down but I was almost finished so I stuck with it. I know some people don't like either of those words at all in a book so fair warning.
Okay so this was about an artist from a rich family who "gets away" I guess and goes back home when his father dies. He has some sort of bad past that you learn about in the first few pages of the book then you don't learn about it until the very end. The surprise past was not worth finding out about even!
The book skips back and fourth from present to past a lot and it gets confusing because you have no idea from one paragraph to the next where you are in the story. It felt like a cop out, like the author could find no other way for us to find out about Kyle's past.
I never connected with Kyle at all his character just seemed very flat to me. The author also would randomly throw in large words that didn't even make sense the way they were used. If you are going to throw them in you should make sure the meaning is correct.
Overall the only thing I am happy about is that when I did get this book it was free.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary Realism February 21, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Disclosure: I received this Kindle version book on an author giveaway day.

Honestly, have you every let something sit on the shelf too long? That is what happened here. I wish I would have read it right away. I usually have an email back up to let me know how I received a book. This time, I only had the tags (shelves on GoodReads) that I set up when I got it. So this review isn't timely. Sorry.

I have a problem reading contemporary books. They are too real. I like to read to escape everyday situations like family dysfunction and death and how those two problems play out in real life. And though this book is well-written, this is what jumped out at me: dysfunctional, rich family with high expectations. Throw into that a gay son, another son who would rather pursue his art, who won't be following into law school, who has diabetes (type 1)... bossy oldest brother... Real life. I suppose if you are living in an enchanted land this would be the story for you. For me? Depressing.

The author, Conchie Fernandez, has made the kind of book you don't want to put down. You want to see what will happen. You want to see if there are any redeemable moments for any of the characters. So I would guess that it is hope that drives the book. Ms. Fernandez's characters are realistic. Her research seems strong yet subdued. It is a quick read and inspires me want to paint.

As I said before if you are escaping reality, death, cussing, etc. this isn't for you. If you want to read good writing, great characters, enjoy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Very good book, but kind of forgettable
Very well written. Great plot. Great characters. The first half of the book captured me with the current-day conflict, but hinted about a very complex past. Read more
Published 10 days ago by DannyBoy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I recommended, this book is really good
Published 15 days ago by lizmabel Puello
5.0 out of 5 stars Undrawn is a hit
It kept me interested the entire book
If this is a first novel, it is a good one! The relationship between Kyle and Troy is a complex one but the love always remains.
Published 3 months ago by M. Wade
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it
A great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Published 6 months ago by M. N. Raspa
5.0 out of 5 stars Great novel by creative writter!
Awesome novel and a very creative author! fast shipping and very entertaining reading! I will certainly order another novel by Conchie Fernandez!
Published 13 months ago by sandra p martinez
5.0 out of 5 stars UNDRAWN
Undrawn. A work of art! The past, the present; a winding journey through the life a very creative guy. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Kim
5.0 out of 5 stars The artist
This is a character-driven novel. I loved the love of art that it portrayed and the relationship of the artist to his/her materials and content. Read more
Published on April 6, 2013 by fiona
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect
I loved the story of this flawed personality. I especially enjoyed how the author didn't spell everything out but let the allusions become clear in a very natural way over the... Read more
Published on March 24, 2013 by Caroline B
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the best book I've read this month.
I never suspected the ending and yet it made perfect sense. This is going to be with me for along time.
Published on February 26, 2013 by ljmwest
3.0 out of 5 stars okay....
Being a diabetic .... I found the book to be inaccurate about the health of the main character ...
An okay book though...
Published on October 26, 2012 by R Scott
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More About the Author

Conchie Fernandez was born in the Dominican Republic. She was an editor for "Touring", a tourism newspaper printed in English and Spanish, for several years. She later translated and edited the panels for the Altos de Chavon Museum of Archaeology and taught Creative Writing at Casa Chavon, an affiliate of the Altos de Chavon School of Design and the Parsons School of Design. She moved to the United States in 2006 and lives in Florida. "Undrawn" is her first published novel.

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