Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book Review: Still Life


Book Description:  Ada escaped her family’s self-enclosed world to elope with a mysterious stranger. Five months later, she’s a widow in a strange new world.

Ada was born into a fringe religious sect named for her father, The Prophet. But her lifelong habit of absolute obedience was shattered when she fled the family compound to elope with photographer Julian Goetz.

Katherine Walker’s marriage was a sham. She and Will rarely spoke without yelling—and never touched. Her affair brings her both escape and guilt.

When a tragic plane crash takes Julian from Ada and exacerbates Katherine’s sense of shame, both women become desperately unsure of where they belong in the world—until the devotion of an artistic young boy conspires to bring them together.

From award-winning novelist Christa Parrish, Still Life is a cunningly complex work that captures themes of abusive religion, supernatural love, and merciful escape. It will resonate with anyone who has ever felt called to a drastic change—or tried to hear the small whisper of God’s voice.

My Review:   Still Life by Christa Parrish is a paper onion -- layers upon layers of words and tart richness, you have to peel back each chapter to get more of the essence!  What a lush, poignantly written novel!  I confess at the requesting of this book, I had ideas of what it would entail in the imagination of my mind.  I envisioned a novel version of the
"Bounce" with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck.  Not so!  This book has a life all it's own, a tale meant to woven with a message to share.  Parrish can write.

Ada and Julian are intriquing characters ~ from different worlds but drawn together by a voice, an unexplained messanger - that 'sixth sense' that you hear in the back of your mind, faithfully entrancing you with a premonition that something is just and good.  Ada, from a strict sect and closed world, meets Julian after he is sent on assignment as a photographer to cover the sect, and they are brought together quickly like magnets.

Katherine Walker is a woman on the verge of a broken marriage beyond repair, having an affair and not caring much who it hurts.  As all the stars align in just the right order, place and time, she meets Julian at the airport - having been bumped from an overbooked flight - and they strike up a conversation . She learns he's hoping to be home in time for Ada's birthday, and gives up her seat to him.  And as the same fate would have it, the plane crashes with no survivors.

The ensuing aftermath of guilt, sadness, despair, terror of life unknown is worth the read alone.
While I have lost loved ones, that grief and how it weaves into the lives of the characters is rich and concrete.  Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Book Look Bloggers.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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