Lifelike Kindle Edition
|Length: 401 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Matchbook Price: $0.00
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Top Customer Reviews
"Lifelike" is the fourth novel by Dudley that I've read. When I read an early version of it, I had to stop because of the creep factor. I say this with highest regard. It's difficult to create a villain. The tension that Dudley wrought was done with an expert hand. And because I have little tolerance for spooky, creepy, mysterious, I couldn't finish reading that early draft.
Upon its publication, I purchased a Kindle copy, poured a glass of wine, and prepared to get a third or so of the way through. Two hours later, I was finished, slightly breathless and very impressed. (I need to say: there are sex scenes. They're tasteful, written with a light hand, but I wouldn't recommend this novel to someone under the age of, say, sixteen.)
The protagonist, Jewel, is an eighteen-year-old Texas girl who escapes to San Francisco when she discovers her other-worldly powers. There, she meets a lovely variety of neighbors, friends - and an unlikely patron and mentor in wealthy, sophisticated Damon. Damon has many secrets but Jewel's power eclipses even his darkest ones. As she stumbles closer and closer to his real identity, Jewel's life - and soul - are in danger of being lost in his world of art and intrigue.
And, indeed - the most ardent love song in this book is to art itself. From the minute differences of one shade of oil paint to another, from the idea of capturing a person's essence in a portrait, to the loving depiction of the de Young museum, Dudley salutes the beauty and intricacies of creating visual art. He does so with limited exposition and description, using words to crisply and precisely - well, paint - the scenes and images of his setting.
For me, this limited exposition is key. The reason I call this a beach novel is that it moves so quickly. Whereas a work like Maggie Stiefvater's "The Raven Boys" involves quite a lot of philosophical narration, "Lifelike" is streamlined and paced to be enjoyable.
I told you I would be honest. There are some incongruities. Jewel doesn't recognize a reference to the Love Boat, but when she sees Captain's red hoodie with a hammer and sickle on it, she wonders if he is a Communist. Likewise, she worries about drinking wine since she's underage, but she moves to Damon's house without much of a second thought. Also, I'm not sure that Dudley knows the difference between a macaroon and a macaron, but now I'm getting really picky.
I encourage you to buy this magical story and enjoy its whimsical, chilling spell.
The book is about artistic Jewel who “flees to San Francisco and a fresh start.” She meets some eccentric characters plus a mysterious, alluring, and dangerous art teacher. When Jewel is invited to his home for lessons, she is shocked by his magic, and the action she takes to reveal his secrets is life-threatening. Dudley created well-developed characters, even the minor ones are intriguing, and the plot keeps the reader guessing.
I normally don't choose this genre, but in reading and appreciating Lifelike, I might explore it more often.
[author of 23 non-fiction books]
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