Notes from an Exhibition
Patrick Gale’s novel is the story of a woman he has called “my most frightenin...more
We meet manic-depressive artist Rachel at various stages of her life; as a precocious student, a promiscuous teen and an unloving mother; but never as a likeable character. Her lack of maternal feeling makes it difficult for the reader to have compassion for the tortured artist, who seems nothing more than a vessel for her mental disorder.
The novel is written fro...more
Some books are great and you want to turn the pages faster and faster because you are so enjoying reading them but then other books are really fabulous and you want to turn the pages slower and slower to make them last. This story is one of the latter. Only when I discovered that Patrick Gale has a decent sized back catalogue to look into did I allow myself to keep reading to the end at a reasonable pace. I know I'm going to keep thinking about this story for weeks to come (at least).
A fine, intelligent novel that is both humourous and affecting.
With Cornwall as a backdrop, the narrative touches on mental illness, family, love, religion...more
The beginning of the story was interesting but just okay. Soon everything changed and the whole story went faster and took you cmpletely with itself. I liked a lot the thing of not being a time ordered story in which one thing is being told ex...more
I didn't like it very much. It was predictable and felt artificial in its style. There were many irritating little inaccuracies that just got on my obsessive compulsive nerves (no, Petroc would not have been revising for his GCSEs in 1986 as they weren't introduced until 1988 - and he probably wouldn't have had a CD player that year either).
The different perspectives also gave me a chance to like people - Hedley, Anthony, Winnie. And even when I didn't like characters - Morweena and Rachel, I...more
Notes from an Exhibition is a wonderful, warm story of a family. Artist Rachel has been very successful but plagued with bipolar disorder. Husband Antony is more a carer to Rachel, but between them they manage to bring up four wonderful children: Garfield, Morwhenna, Hedley and Petroc. The novel jumps through time via a series of notes from a posthumous exhibition of Rachel's work, filling in the gaps...more
Patrick Gale uses the device of an exhibition of artist, Rachel’s various pieces to trigger off a chapter about an event or character in the book, related to her. You can't help empathising with each ch...more
Mysteries start to unfold but Gale makes it clear in the novel (as in real life)that we make assumptions about others that are often way off the mark. Not everything is revealed...more
Set in Cornwall it engages well with the rugged scenery and coastline which adds considerable interest to the fascinating storyline. The main character, an artist, is bipolar and experiences particular difficulties when she is having chi...more
I read it as much more of a character study than simply a narrative, and enjoyed it this way. I got to know these characters, their history, and explore how they each dealt with family, mental illness and death. No character was perfect, but neither was anyone entirely fla...more
I don't mean to sound too harsh about this book, after all the writing was beautiful and reading throught the other reviews on this book I can see what appealed to some, but to be honest I judg...more
He writes in a very humane way about his characters, and one couldn’t help empathising with each of them, when one got under their skin.
Since being able to feel for the character is an important element of a book to me, that was something that I liked about the book. I did begin to feel after a while, however, that there were just...more
The story centers around Rachel Kelly, the wife, mother, artist who is also bipolar. Each chapter is headed with a Note that is put up next to an item of her work, etc. that is being exhibited after her death. The point of view in each chapter is through the eyes of one of the b...more