Monday, July 30, 2018

Book Review: Connectedness

By Sara Steven

Justine’s art sells around the world, but does anyone truly know her? When her mother dies, she returns to her childhood home in Yorkshire where she decides to confront her past. She asks journalist Rose Haldane to find the baby she gave away when she was an art student, but only when Rose starts to ask difficult questions does Justine truly understand what she must face.

Is Justine strong enough to admit the secrets and lies of her past? To speak aloud the deeds she has hidden for 27 years, the real inspiration for her work that sells for millions of pounds. Could the truth trash her artistic reputation? Does Justine care more about her daughter, or her art? And what will she do if her daughter hates her? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Having read Ignoring Gravity (reviewed here), I looked forward to reading more from Sandra Danby, a continuation in Rose’s quest to help people discover their pasts and ultimately, their identities. While it’s primarily told through Justine’s perspective, we get to see how two characters become linked through pain and loss, going through similar life experiences that have shaped who they are today.

I felt transported between Justine the young adult, and Justine as she is now, and I appreciated the voice given for her within those two stages of her life. I could see the exuberance in her youth, and the maturity that settles into her soul as the years pass, particularly while carrying around a secret that has weighed on her psyche. It was a unique way to see the progression of a character, realistic and honest. I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to a painter’s lifestyle, it was interesting to be given insight into that world, to walk through Justine’s experiences in trying to initially make a name for herself, and what it’s like when those dreams come true. Her past is the driving force behind her artistic endeavors, lending into her success. It was a nice way to tip the scales on what someone can live with, and what they’re living for.

In dealing with her past, Justine also has to confront the here and now in becoming a support system for those who are like family to her, a loved one who parallels the loss Justine felt after her mother died. There are a lot of situations and scenarios that aren’t easy, and at times it can be painful to read, but it’s told in a way that is simplistic in nature, that fills you with the need to continue reading, to find out what happens next for Justine and Rose and the other characters that make up the beauty that is Connectedness.

Thanks to Sandra Danby for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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