Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Gravity of Birds review

The gravity of birds

Tracy Guzeman
15th August 2013 | PBO £7.99 | EB £5.99

For fans of Maggie O’Farrell and Elisabeth Hyde, Tracy Guzeman’s beautifully written, compelling
novel perfectly evokes first love, long-buried family secrets and the pain of lifelong regret.

Book Synopsis

The Gravity of Birds Sisters Alice and Natalie Kessler were once close, but adolescence has made them strangers to one another. Dreamer Alice loves books and birds in equal measure whilst Natalie, the beautiful one, is beguiling and manipulative, effortlessly captivating men.
On their lakeside family holiday, Alice falls under the thrall of their enigmatic next-door-neighbour, a struggling young painter. Natalie seems strangely unmoved by the charismatic stranger in their midst. She tolerates the family sittings for the portrait Thomas is painting with a barely disguised distaste. But as the portrait nears completion, the family dynamics shift beneath the surface irrevocably. And by the end of the summer, three lives have changed forever.

Four decades later, Thomas Beyber is a renowned artist whose works fetch thousands. Health failing, he asks friend and Art Historian Dennis Finch to sell one last painting – the never-before-seen portrait of the Kessler sisters. But Thomas also charges Dennis with first finding the girls – and they seem to have disappeared forever. With hot-headed young art authenticator Stephen Jameson in tow, Dennis sets out to untangle the messy regret of their shared histories.

Claire's review 2 of 5 Stars

When I received a copy of The Gravity of Birds I was excited to read it, as I loved the synopsis, however I found the book a let down in comparison. A few chapters in I almost gave up completely as It really wasn't holding my attention.

The book gives you a good insight into the art world and the main characters were well developed. I thought there was however a lot of characters which were not needed in the story. I think the story needed a lot more to keep you focused and continuing to read to the end. Despite the characters being well developed, where I found the story lacked substance I found it difficult to relate to the characters and feel any emotional connection to them.

Overall the book is well written but wasn't one for me. To be complete honest if I hadn't have received this as a review book from Harper Collins I think I would have given up on it.

‘A richly textured novel’ – Oprah Magazine

‘A deep and compelling page-turning story handled with the lightest of touches... It’s gone straight to the
place on my bookshelf reserved for my favourite reads.’
Louise Douglas, author of The Spaces Between Us
‘I absolutely loved it. A beautifully written, compelling love story.’
Lucy Clarke, author of The Sea Sisters

Tracy Guzeman is a Puschart Prize nominee, an honour she shares with Joyce Carol Oates, John Irving and
Lydia Davis. Her fiction has been published in Gulf Coast, Vestal Review and Glimmer Train Stories, and has
been performed as part of the New Short Fiction Series Emerging Voices Group Show. The Gravity of Birds
was won in the UK at auction, and was subject to a significant pre-empt in the USA. It is her first novel.

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