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.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Katie Ward was born in Somerset in 1979. She has worked in the public and voluntary sectors, including at a women’s refuge center, in the office of a Member of Parliament, and in various community-based projects. She lives in Suffolk, England, with her husband and two cats.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Hey.I'm Alex.A girl.A tomboy,they would call me. Bleep!Bleep!My alarm clock goes off.I jam it with my hand.I start picking out clothes. I eventually pick out a shirt that said Girls Rule that I spray painted blue. My mom hurries out the door."Let's go!Go,go!I ran out the door,holding my books. All right,that's enough.Part 2 is below this book I reviewed. Thanks!!!!!!! Gloria Jones .
This book grew on me gradually. Seemingly disparate stories, in chronological order, from 1333 to 2008. What they share in common is that each gives the "back story" for an actual work of art that includes a girl reading. And then there's the final story, dated 2060, that ties the other 6 together in a futuristic, sci-fi genre that waxes philosophical about fantasy vs. reality. The final story is also, in its way, about a work of art. It would probably bear re-reading a couple of times to fully digest and appreciate its argument.
This was an adventure reading several stories of different young women over the centuries that had no apparent plot or point...left me hanging at the end of each. Just my opinion!