A kaleidoscopic tale follows the experiences of seven women models from different historical periods, the artists for whom they sit, the factors that shape the creations of their portraits and the ties that connect them to each other. 35,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)
A kaleidoscopic tale follows the experiences of seven women models from different historical periods, the artists for whom they sit, the factors that shape the creations of their portraits, and the ties that connect them to each other. - (Baker & Taylor)
This “debut of rare individuality and distinction” (Hilary Mantel), told in seven chapters and peopled by girls and women caught in the act of reading, is a fascinating celebration of women in culture over the last seven centuries.
Seven portraits. Seven artists. Seven girls and women reading.
A young orphan poses nervously for a Renaissance maestro in medieval Siena. An artist's servant girl in seventeenth-century Amsterdam snatches a moment away from her work to lose herself in tales of knights and battles. An eighteenth century female painter completes a portrait of a deceased poetess for her lover. A Victorian medium poses with a book in one of the first photographic studios. A girl suffering her first heartbreak witnesses intellectual and sexual awakening during the Great War. A young woman reading in a bar catches the eye of a young man who takes her picture. And in the not-so-distant future a woman navigates the rapidly developing cyber-reality that has radically altered the way people experience art and the way they live.
Each chapter of Katie Ward’s kaleidoscopic novel takes us into a perfectly imagined tale of how each portrait came to be, and as the connections accumulate, the narrative leads us into the present and beyond. In gorgeous prose Ward explores our points of connection, our relationship to art, the history of women, and the importance of reading. This dazzlingly inventive novel that surprises and satisfies announces the career of a brilliant new writer. - (Simon and Schuster)
Seven stories spun over seven centuries are connected by a slender, yet tensile, thread. Just like classic novel plots, certain artistic motifs are repeated, reimagined, and reinterpreted again and again through the centuries. Ward takes six existing (and one wholly imagined) portraits of women reading, fashioning fascinating fictional accounts of both artist and subject for each one. Beginning with Simone Martini's Annunciation (1333) and culminating in the not-so-distant future with a climactic tale revolving around the only image that is a figment of the writer's imagination, these thematic chapters have much to say about the nature of womanhood, relationships, and the creative process. Though sure to evoke comparisons to Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring, this book-club natural stands on its own merits. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.