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Monday, December 16, 2013

"The Gravity of Birds" by Tracy Guzeman-Lost Love and Art World

SUMMARY :

A debut novel already destined to be a book club favorite. “With its deft interweaving of psychological complexity and riveting narrative momentum, with its gorgeous prose and poetic justice, The Gravity of Birds is about sibling rivalry, tragedies, and resurrections. And it’s irresistibly exquisite” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Forty-four years after the brilliant young painter, Thomas Bayber, first meets Alice and Natalie Kessler, Bayber unveils a never-before-seen work, Kessler Sisters—a provocative painting depicting the young Thomas, Alice, and Natalie. Bayber asks Dennis Finch, an art history professor, and Stephen Jameson, an eccentric young art authenticator, to sell the painting. But their task becomes more complicated when the artist requires that they first locate Alice and Natalie, who seem to have disappeared.

Told in alternating chapters that weave revelations about the sisters’ past with clues Finch and Jameson discover in the present, this story sets three characters on a collision course with their histories, showing how families tear themselves apart and then try to bind themselves together again, not always creating the same fabric. The Gravity of Birds “combines the drama of warring sisters, the mystery of a missing painting, and the sorrow of lost love into a haunting elegy that will…leave you breathless” (Tiffany Baker, author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County).


PARTICULARS OF THE BOOK :

Published by:  Simon & Schuster
Pages:  294
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Author:  Tracy Guzeman
Website:  http://www.tracyguzeman.com
Meet the author, watch videos and more:  http://simonandschuster.com


ABOUT THE AUTHOR :

Tracy Guzeman lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Vestal Review, and Glimmer Train Stories. The Gravity of Birds is her first novel.

Find out more about her on her website:  http://www.tracyguzeman.com


Video from Ms Guzeman on her book:





THE BOOKISH DAME REVIEWS :

I'm sorry it took me such a long time to get to this book.  What a gentle and fulfilling read it was.  I was moved by the prose and the storyline all together.  Ms. Guzeman has a way with words that gets to the heart of her characters.  This is a novel that will live in my mind for months, I'm sure, after I've left the pages.

I was completely taken up by the gentle way we are brought into the very shaky relationships in the novel, as none of them seem to be steeped in longevity or planted in deep soil upon first observance.  The girls, Alice and Natalie, whom we meet as sisters almost immediately are soft rivals...Alice the "do right" girl, and Natalie the hard-shelled one.  And, poor Stephen, the young art authenticator is nearly rootless and blind to the hard facts of an art world with little room for human error.  Then, we meet the artist at the center of the novel, Thomas Bayber, who is a picture of many facets of humanity...seemingly self-absorbed.

The storyline is a simple one in finding the girls whose picture Bayer painted on a long ago summer time along a coastal area, but the underlying story is one of self-discovery on all their counts.  A psychological study of the individuals...a finding of not only the painting(s), but of the metal that holds each person to each other and together themselves.

This is a beautifully wrought novel.  Full of gorgeous word pictures and deeply held sayings.  It's a book to read and reread.  One I'll keep for a long time.  It's the story of healing of the mind, body and soul which we all can take a note from.  I simply loved the book.

Highly recommended.

5 stars                         Deborah/TheBookishDame

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