Paris Still Life: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 215 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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About the Author
Poet and novelist Rosalind Brackenbury is the author of Becoming George Sand. A former writer-in-residence at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, she has also served as poet laureate of Key West, teaching poetry workshops. She has attended the yearly Key West Literary Seminar as both panelist and moderator. Born in London, Rosalind lived in Scotland and France before moving to the United States. Her hobbies include swimming, reading, walking, and talking with friends. For more on the author and her work, visit www.rosalindbrackenbury.com.
- Publication date : January 1, 2018
- File size : 2765 KB
- Print length : 215 pages
- ASIN : B0722TZD5Y
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (January 1, 2018)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1477809007
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #306,622 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Gaby receives a letter from her father’s mysterious lover of 30 years – Francoise Lussac. She has a gift from Peter, Gaby’s father; a valuable 17th century still life painting. Was it real or was it a fake?
Running through the novel are themes of secrets, lies, pretense, hypocrisy, double standards, uncertainty, expectations, reality, illusion, and father-daughter/father-lover relationships. There is nothing gripping nor suspenseful about the plot, the characters are lightweight, and the dialogue is stilted. Overall, it is a rather disappointing book.
This is a story that explores family relationships as well as perception versus reality. It is a complex story, but one that you can easily get lost in.
Escaping Florida and a faltering marriage, Gaby Greenwood retreats to her family’s small Parisian apartment. Both her parents are dead and she is left wondering who she actually is.
The last thing Gaby expected to discover was that her father had secrets, and she begins to see him on the streets of Paris in his old black corduroy jacket, always just beyond her reach. “Once when I was a student, I saw a boyfriend of mine kissing someone else on a bridge in Cambridge, and the pain of that immediate physical jealousy went through me like heart failure. But when I came near, it wasn’t him.”
The search for her father, the provenance of a painting (maybe hers, maybe stolen), and her own marriage are all at stake. She begins an affair with a younger man, mirroring her own father’s long-term split loyalties to his wife and mistress. Perhaps if she could grasp the whole of her father’s life, (Peter, the “secretive man”) she could better understand her own.
But to iterate the plot is to do Rosalind Brackenbury a disservice and not just because of spoilers, but because Brackenbury’s first language is poetry, the sudden phrase that stops me dead in my tracks and does exactly what Brackenbury wants it to do, providing fresh perspective, softening easy judgment.
Many of Brackenbury’s previous novels – (Becoming George Sand comes to mind) are about unapologetic explorations, and this one is no exception, except for the added mystery of the father and the painting. The pacing is leisurely and sensual taking on it’s own rhythm and logic, then building to a greater insight.
This is a novel to savor, a slow unfolding that looks to the mysteries of love, art, memory to show direction and provide a way to carry on.
Top reviews from other countries
I would recommend this book to others but with the caveat that it possibly might not be their cup of tea. For me, I have fond memories of the story and enjoyed it but would probably not keep it on my bookshelf to read again.
I choose this book for Paris and its intriguing cover. Still life not only refers to the painting she discovers her father has left for her but that dispute her changes and losses this is 'still life'.
The author is a poet so I expected a lyrical style of writing However, I found the style difficult to absorb and at times frankly tedious. Having lost both my parents in the last few years, although I'm older than Gaby, I did feel an empathy with her and that is what kept me reading, albeit slower than normal. My favourite character was definitely Paris.