The Drawing Lesson.
Book Title: The Drawing Lesson
Author: Mary E. Martin (left)
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui for WITS
The Drawing Lesson, by author Mary E. Martin stands among the best of literary fiction. She brings wisdom, grace, and beauty to the page as skillfully as the best painter to the canvas.
Alexander Wainwright has won Britain’s celebrated Turner Prize with a landscape painting of The Hay Wagon. He should be thrilled but the taunting criticism of contemporary and rival artist Rinaldo has thrown him into a soul searching spiral of self doubt.
His beautiful landscapes, once so full of light and presence, begin to fill with creeping, shadowy figures. These troll-like creatures deny understanding and confuse Alex's artistic vision. His muse seems to have left him. A journey to rediscover his passion unfolds as Alex attempts to understand the creatures in his paintings.
The journey carries Alex into contact with a range of interesting characters who all struggle with personal inner demons. Alex touches each of their lives with his spirit and allows each in return to touch his own. The action of the story rises as the consequences of past choices return to entangle Alex in self doubt and recrimination, with the story reaching a climax as Rinaldo sets plans in motion to destroy Alex in a scene of public humiliation.
In the end Alex Wainwright transcends himself and his body of work by illuminating the human form with his divine vision, transfiguring on canvas both his inner and outer demons into beings of luminous spirit.
The Drawing Lesson is a deeply insightful book about life, choices, forgiveness, madness, self doubt, and creative inspiration. Martin has an understanding of humanity, its inner turmoil, needs, and the creative urge that is both honest and compassionate. This is a compelling and moving story to be savored on the palate like fine wine.
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