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Unveiling: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, March 1, 2005


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Paperback, Bargain Price, March 1, 2005
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557254508
  • ASIN: B005Q6MSI0
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,109,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This dark and lovely first novel from Wolfe, the executive editor of Image ("A Journal of the Arts and Religion"), uses themes of faith, brokenness and redemption to create a memorable work of fiction. Dr. Rachel Piers specializes in restoring old panel paintings, but she's failed to strip away the dirt and damage done to her personal life. Divorce, an incestuous adolescent rape and a forced abortion have left her soul sick, her idealism shattered—as fragile and scarred as the artwork she refurbishes. When Rachel travels to Rome to direct the restoration of an old triptych amid politics of the art world that threaten her integrity, she dares to hope she might learn to love and trust again. With beautiful prose and an extensive, fresh vocabulary that doesn't succumb to showiness, Wolfe guides the reader through the mechanics of art restoration while chronicling Rachel's emotional and spiritual healing. As she works on the triptych, "Her fierce joy in stripping away the accumulated detritus of dirt and varnish, or uncovering, inch by inch, section by section, original pigment and the miracle of form, sprang from a passionate need to recover something blighted, something lost through human neglect and the obscuring overlay of time." The amount of technical art restoration facts and description occasionally feels a bit weighty, and one of the few missteps is the unnecessary incorporation of September 11 references. Nonetheless, this is an excellent novel that should appeal to both general literary readers interested in the art world and readers of faith.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Wolfe's Unveiling is about Rachel Piers, an art restorer who takes a job in Italy to work on a mysterious panel about the Crucifixion. Rachel is recently divorced from a dilettante who abused her soul much as her stepfather once abused her body. She's a wounded spirit, disengaged from life, though still obsessive about her work. She meets her Italian equivalent in Donati, a gentle man with whom she strips away centuries of varnish and weathering from their assigned masterpiece. In the process both strip away their own hurts and longings, finding love as well as spiritual ballast in a quiet, subtle love story deeply grounded in the restoration of art John Mort
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Ms. Wolfe is a very gifted writer.
Don Murdock
Beyond that, I was slightly disappointed that the plot was somewhat weak and anticlimactic.
Purple Sea Urchin
I look forward to reading more of her work!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mike Reeves-McMillan on October 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Like other reviewers, I was somewhat disappointed. The concept - an art restorer restores her life at the same time as she restores an art piece, the Lamentation - has great potential, but the author doesn't quite get there. Perhaps it is partly because her main character is so passive. Even when she's active she's passive - she opposes the expectations placed on her to misidentify the picture for political reasons by her decision to let the evidence carry her wherever it leads, and when sacked for not coming up with the right answer she "goes quietly". She finds love with a good man, but again responds passively to his advances, and there is no real exploration of the emotional shifts involved in her participating in this relationship.

The investigation of the mystery of the painting's origin isn't given the space it deserves, and is summed up in a presentation by the main character at the end, giving too much resolution without much tension having been built up.

Two of the characters (Pia and Nigel) are more like parts of the setting that happen to have lines than realized characters. I would have liked to follow Pia to Belgium and hear about the process of her research, rather than having it summed up in Rachel's presentation at the end, and Nigel could have been dispensed with without any loss at all.

The details of art restoration were interesting, and the moral point about the importance of great works of religious art being retained as objects of devotion rather than converted into cultural commodities is a good one. But a good writing workshop could have made this a much stronger and more enjoyable novel.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Purple Sea Urchin on August 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This was a colorful, light read that I enjoyed, but unfortunately it made no impact on me as great novels usually do. Wolfe makes the book worth reading in all her detailed descriptions of Rome, the art her character encounters, and the profession of art restoration. Beyond that, I was slightly disappointed that the plot was somewhat weak and anticlimactic. I wish that the author would have expanded upon insights into the main character's emotions and history. Maybe if the book was longer the story could have been stronger. Some sub-plots and references are mentioned quickly and then left untouched, leaving me frustrated at the end of the story. Having read the book in one day and being a teenager, I must admit that the reading level seems below me even though there are some very adult subjects in it. Overall, I appreciated the novel but hope that in the future, Wolfe's writing style matches the content she chooses to include.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Don Murdock on May 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Wolfe is a very gifted writer. Her words and prhases are thoughtfully chosen although they have a spontaneous and conversational tone that similar to gifted syarn spinners sharing a freas tale with a group of close friends. The characters she develops are wonderfully human , yet strongly defined. I am impressed with the writer's ability to teach readers so much about the beauty and mystery of art along with the tecnicalites of restoraton while simultaneously drawing us into the persons and plot of the story. For me this is a story about a persons confrontation of her deepest yearnings for "the more" of that msystery that transforms existence into a life that thrives. A very enjoyable read. Thank you Ms. Wolfe. Keeep on writing for us.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. West on April 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When I picked up this novel I expected some depth. What I found was a story that did not quench my apetite. I felt that it lacked real meat. The bones where there but I was not satisfied. I almost felt that wolfe was trying to be the next Dan Brown. However, she did not get to that point because there was not enough substance. Sorry Ms. Wolfe, I am sure (as your students inform us) that you are a great professor, but your book left me wanting more, and not as in a sequal.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Written by English teacher Suzanne M. Wolfe, Unveiling is a Christian novel about a divorced woman working on an art restoration project. As she removes layers of grime from what may be a lost Flemish masterpiece of the Crucifixion, she gradually uncovers the misery that has been obscuring her soul - repressed emotion concerning not only her divorce, but also past sexual abuse and a forced abortion. The burdens of the past weigh upon her, but the dawning of faith and understanding help her in her search to restore what time, neglect, and harm have defiled, both externally and internally. A passionate and powerful novel especially recommended for readers of faith.
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