For The Love of Georgia

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As a long-time fan of Georgia O’Keefe and her art I was drawn to this new book like a moth to a flame.  The fact that this book is a historical novel was especially appealing to me as that is one of my favorite genres (memoirs being the other).

I am mostly familiar with her colorful and beautiful flower studies and I’ve bought many a calendar of those fantastical flowers.  When the year is over I carefully remove the pages with the images and place them in frameless glass frames and hang them everywhere.  On the walls of my office their beauty buoyed me at times in my former high-stress career.  On the walls of my art studio the images provided both rich and calm colors and inspiration.  The pieces currently hanging on the walls of my hallway provide a happy trail on the way to guest rooms.

I’ve never read any of the other books written by Dawn Tripp but I plan to now that I’ve read this one.  Her writing style appeals to my reading taste.  Layers of description but not overly so.  Conveyance of the emotions and feelings of the characters with just the right amount of nuance and leaving room for the reader to use their own interpretation.  The relationships between the characters were beautifully interwoven and their interactions and reactions felt very personal; at times raw and erotic, other times poignant and sentimental.  There were times I laughed out loud at Georgia’s brand of humor.  Other times I felt the sting of tears behind my eyes as she experienced humiliation, frustration, and aimlessness.

My favorite part of this book were the descriptions of Georgia’s feelings as she painted and her descriptions of color and brushstrokes.

The light beat like silver dust on those trees–touching them, shaping them–I turned and walked away–I had to keep it–the intensity of that moment–and then I was home and the brush was in my hands, and I let the feeling hone to a sane, cool edge–no time, no thought, only that clear intent, my fingers taut on the brush, the colors like dark water, that mood passing right through my hand into the lean black forms of those trees.

Here’s another:

I paint the distance .  Not a shape inside it, not a mountain or church or cross.  Just distance.  Line after line of horizon.  Raw sienna, burnt umber, ocher, gold–the colors leave my brush, becoming light-struck dirt.

My goodness I found these descriptions delicious!  I found myself savoring this book and not wanting it to end.  I rationed my reading of it.

The relationships in Georgia’s life are written about in an equally deliciously descriptive way.  The joy, the anger, the hurt, the heat.  “My body glitters as I walk to meet him for lunch.”  What a delightful sentence!  Who hasn’t experienced some form of this during their life?  And if you haven’t well you definitely should!

I could go on with other passages of this book that I have copied into my journal so as not to lose them from my life but I’m sure there is a limit to what is allowed to be shared here.  Suffice to say that I sincerely recommend it.  Thanks for checking in here.  Until next time…Adios.

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