Thursday, May 21, 2015

Book Review: Painted From Memories by Barbara Forte Abate

Painted From Memories
By Barbara Forte Abate
Publisher: Halcyon Moon Books
Published: June 19, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

She considers telling him the truth—that she isn’t the person he thinks she is—but in the end she doesn’t. To say something is to potentially say everything. And it is simply too late... 

The emotionally fractured casualty of a hideous childhood tragedy, Catherine has at last found her happy-ever-after in the person of Grayson Barnett, and it is the promise of a freshly polished future that compels her to bury the poisonous trail of her past beneath the purposeful lies and omissions she offers her new husband. 

But now, with the inherent shame of her traumatic history secreted away and losing hold, Cat finds herself increasingly troubled as Gray falls into an erratic pattern of late night wanderings through the house, painting the bare walls with extravagant murals. And only when the unthinkable happens—a devastating blow which leaves her broken and spiraling—and an unexpected arrival on her doorstep, bearing a cache of impossible revelations—is Cat forced to question whether the man she so desperately loves is in truth a stranger and their beautiful life a gross falsehood constructed upon a foundation of lies. 

2014 winner of Honorable Mention in the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards 

Book Links

 My Thoughts:

Painted From Memories is a very melancholy read. The main protagonist has had something very traumatic happen in her childhood and she has secreted it away from everyone. She hides it even from the man she desperately loves fearing it will turn him away from her.

Much of the story is written as her reflections and thoughts on things and her musings on the past. This is how we discover what terrible things happened to create the fractured person she is today. Every day she lives she seems to be waiting for something awful to happen.

The house that Cat and her husband Gray live in seem to be a reflection of her emotional state. It is in poor condition and barely holding together. There are secrets in the house that have been left there. You can feel them in the rooms and in the junk that has been left behind by the previous owners.

The author has a way of making you feel what Cat and Gray are feeling. I wanted to keep reading the book just to find out what the secret was that she was keeping from Gray even though I didn’t really like the melancholy feel to the story.

What I didn’t expect were the other secrets that were being kept. It makes a person wonder how a relationship can survive with so many lies, even if they are lies of omission. I wonder what would have happened if the truth had been discovered earlier.

I found the book to be rather long and wordy at times and wanted to skim parts to hurry up and get on with the story. It took me longer than usual to finish Painted From Memories than it normally takes to finish a book of this length as it was not a book I felt compelled to pick up and read.

I gave this book 3 stars out of 5 because of the author’s ability to reach the reader emotionally. Though I did not find this book compelling, I know that there are other readers out there who will.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion is not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

I grew up in a small town in Dutchess County, New York, the third of five children. Although I started my first novel in 4th grade, I didn't recognize what would eventually become a lifelong passion until several years later as I found my thoughts routinely wandering off to inhabit imagined places -- spinning elaborate tales curiously populated by ever-changing collections of strange and unique characters that seemed to arrive from nowhere, yet remained, incredibly content to live within my fictitious worlds.

It would be impossible to determine or otherwise explain where the intense obsession to draw pictures and unreel emotion with words on paper originates from, just as it would be unfathomable to ever abandon. It is simply there - deep, unquenchable, eternal.

Influences are everywhere and in abundance - people I've known over a lifetime, as well as those who have merely crossed my path and gone, yet touched in such a way as to remain memorable. Places I've been or merely absorbed - fallen into through the pull of a photograph. Experiences of love, loss, injury, joy, and impossible tragedy. Events in our everyday world that sink so deeply they cannot be discarded from thought or memory. And more then any single thing, my Divine Creator who inspires me in all things - not simply with the desire to create, but the faith to pursue and persevere for as long as it takes.

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