Snicketts's Reviews > Notes from an Exhibition

Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale
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Feb 15, 08

bookshelves: fiction
Read in February, 2008

Haunting. What starts as a story about a Bipolar artist becomes much more than a simple tale of adversity. Moving backward and forward in time, revealing snippets of the past via the exhibit notes from the artist's post-humous exhibition, this story sucks you in and leaves you unable to walk away without knowing more. You find yourself learning more from what is left unsaid than from what is on the page.

With Cornwall as a backdrop, the narrative touches on mental illness, family, love, religion, sexuality and hope - but without any of them ever being heavy-handed or overdone. The empathy I felt for the characters and the realism with which they were written left me certain that there was no one to blame for the sadness, and evryone, no matter how damaged, responsible for the fragile happiness.

Not a book to be read when feeling low, the ultimate message is beautiful but costly.
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