Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Painting Juliana” as Want to Read:
Painting Juliana
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Painting Juliana

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  50 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Juliana Birdsong is your typical eight-year-old with an obsessive-compulsive mother who's too paranoid to leave the house. Making double-lined, black-out drapes to protect their home from the outside world, her mother only looks up from her sewing machine when Perry Mason comes on TV - the type of successful man Juliana should marry if she wants to get anywhere in life. Bu ...more
Hardcover, 362 pages
Published May 20th 2014 by Goldminds Publishing, LLC (first published April 24th 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Painting Juliana, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Painting Juliana

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Go back and read that book summary.

Got all that? It has a little bit of everything, doesn't it? Even financial intrigue, but that comes later.

Here's the thing, though: I don't think the summary really tells you what this book is about. Sure, it lays out the basics of the plot, but Painting Juliana is about so much more than that.

You know that trite phrase about a woman's journey, etc., etc., blah blah blah? This here is a WOMAN'S JOURNEY. We meet Juliana as a frightened eight-year-old, unable t
Nov 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Juliana is a woman being tested. Life is coming at her hard and fast, and of course, it is a domino effect – one challenge after the other. Hunter pens a tangled web for one impartial character.

Juliana is sideswiped by life, dealing with a few hard hitting blows, facing facts, and casting denial to the wind. At first you assume her life is falling apart but as you continue reading, her life is changing course in a very positive direction – always darkest before the storm. A victim of circumstanc
Sharon Chance
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed "Painting Juliana." Author Martha Louise Hunter has developed characters that intrigue the reader and makes them want to know more about them and the life they lead. The premise of the story is fascinating and the overall effect is a mesmerizing story that keeps the reader on the edge of their seats to the very last paragraph.

I look forward to reading more from Martha Louise Hunter.
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Painting Juliana by Martha Louise Hunter is a very highly recommended novel about a woman whose life is in complete shambles, or, maybe, just perhaps, in transition.

"I woke up, I'm alive, the dream's not real. I woke up, I'm alive, the dream's not real..." As an adult who suddenly has way-too-much personal stress to handle, Juliana Birdsong certainly might have wished that repeating this mantra that helped her endure her reoccurring nightmare as a child, would make her current nightmare situatio
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
When Painting Juliana was first pitched to me I was really undecided about accepting it. I exchanged more than a few e-mails with the author questioning the genre and the storyline. I do not read paranormal, fantasy or magic books and I was a bit concerned after reading the synopsis that it would be too mystical for me. It was this line, “it sets off a surreal time warp and the canvases eerily transform, painting a different picture of the parents she thought she knew” that I kept coming back to ...more
Tia Bach
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Juliana's life is unraveling. At first, she's so blindsided by the succession of events she can't function, much less fight. Her husband tosses her out and plans to take everything from her, including her children, and her father is on a fast decline thanks to Alzheimer's.

Broken and struggling, she moves into her father's old house and begins a journey of self-discovery. Through her father's paintings, she discovers her mother and father's relationship was not what she assumed. As she grows str
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, fiction
The first thing that I'll tell you about "Painting Juliana" is that it is truly a multi-faceted story. You have the story of Juliana's family and her ailing father who might be hiding great talents and a great secret. And then you have Juliana's marriage where she is married to Oliver (who was both incredibly well written and incredibly horrible to Juliana and their children). Her marriage is crumbling and Oliver's M.O. seems to be playing mind games with her and their children. This is a thorou ...more
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Painting Juliana is a book out of my normal realm of reading genres and it forced me to stretch my reading muscles. I will write that I was pulled in by the writing almost from the very first page. Ms. Hunter has a way with a pen. I will also write that a good portion of the book took place somewhere over my head. I suspect that if I were to read it again I would be able to sort it all out but my reading schedule isn't going to allow that right now.

We first meet Juliana as a scared 8 year old ex
Wall-to-wall books - wendy
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
WOW! It is hard to believe this is the author's first novel! This book had me on the edge of my seat. Talk about a roller-coaster ride. I went from loving Juliana and feeling sorry for her, to saying "Whaaat??? are you insane?!!" to saying "You go girl!!". I liked her, I was disappointed in her then I loved her! Lets just say Juliana comes a long way from the beginning of the book to the end. I am so glad this author did not disappoint me in the end. I think I would have thrown the book across ...more
Karen Korb
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My Thoughts About The Book: I was late getting started on this book because of some major life events that were happening when I finally sat down I was blown away. WOW! is all I can say. I cannot remember when a book has drawn me in with such power. I could not put the book down. I literally ignored everything I had to do and everyone I knew just to finish this book. As a child who had a mother with Alzheimers Disease I recognized the emotions a mental health issue can hand you. This is a book t ...more
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Juliana Morrissey is unhappy in her marriage. She’s tired of being a second class citizen in her own home. However, when her husband Oliver serves her with divorce papers at their marriage counseling session, she’s floored. If Juliana won’t have Oliver, he’ll take everything away from her – including their twins. Juliana moves back into her childhood home, chocked out by ivy, and learns what it’s like to appreciate the simpler things in life. Her father needs her help because he has Alzheimer’s ...more
Hillary Anderson
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This story comes wrapped like a package in a beautiful and artful cover that gets your attention but it's the people and the story that grab you. Set in my home town of Austin I loved reading this story set in the city I know and love. The characters are exquisitely developed. Juliana is finding her ground. It's a painful journey but she gets there and she does it at times kicking and screaming with plenty of irreverent humor and at others she's in a fetal position. You will laugh and and your h ...more
Christy Vanoss
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A pleasant surprise from a the little girl who went to church with me many years ago.It is an impressive first novel. You are a good writer Martha and I look forward to future novels!
Julie Miller
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great book club novel!
I really enjoyed this book. It is so real on so many levels and deals with the realities of life and loss and growing older, and re-finding yourself in the midst of it all – but in and non-depressing and quite humorous manner. Despite the jerk husband and the father dealing with Alzheimer’s, and those she really felt were her true friends, there were many moments to smile reading this book. Hunter has quite a way with describing things and there are some great one-liners!
Sep 18, 2014 marked it as to-read
I need to read this. My name is Juliana. And I love painting more than anything in the world (besides family of course).
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
My children are avid readers and we often share and discuss the books we read. My son, Connor, in particular, always wants to know what I am currently reading and what it’s about and whether or not I like it. More often than not, I feel relatively ‘meh’ about a book. The books I really love are few and far between, a fact which makes Con roll his eyes. “You never love any books, Mom,” he says.

It’s not true, of course. I love lots of books. I read constantly and I’m always ready to be wowed by a
Reeka (BoundbyWords)
As seen on my blog:

I won't pretend that Painting Juliana wasn't a realistic take on the horrors and anxiety inducing moments that divorce so kindly provides-I haven't been through divorce myself (and I pray to whoever is listening that I won't ever have to), but I am definitely the product of it, and i'll tell you this: it truly is the children who suffer most. Martha Louise Hunter hit the nail on the head in that respect, but sadly, fell so far from the mark in other ways that mattered. Desc
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

A family drama with a lot of drama! Juliana is a mother of twins and while in couples therapy her husband drops a bomb on her that sends her whole life in a tail spin. At the same time her father's Alzheimer's is taking a turn for the worse and she decides to move back into her childhood home to take care of him.

Juliana was an interesting main character and at times I was her biggest cheerleader and then at other times I wanted to shake her silly! S
Karen Manroe
Apr 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I don't think I've ever hated a character as much as I hated Oliver. Which is great that Hunter can evoke that kind of intense emotion! I love the story and the lesson. I just seriously grew weary of the abuse Juliana took and her (lack of) response through most of the book. For me, I needed redemption and revenge sooner! Would make a super cool movie.
rated it it was ok
May 14, 2015
rated it did not like it
Sep 02, 2014
Grace Russell
rated it it was amazing
May 18, 2014
rated it liked it
Feb 25, 2016
rated it it was amazing
May 27, 2014
rated it liked it
Mar 12, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Oct 12, 2015
rated it it was ok
Dec 09, 2014
Anne Ingram
rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2017
Laura Adams
rated it it was ok
Dec 05, 2014
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dawn at Last
  • The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste
  • Justice
  • Relatively Indolent but Relentless: A Cancer Treatment Journal
  • Battleship (Movie Tie-in Edition)
  • Every House Needs a Balcony: A Novel
  • The Jack Bank: A Memoir of a South African Childhood
  • The Wes Letters
  • Civil Society and Women Activists in the Middle East: Islamic and Secular Organizations in Egypt
  • Toxic Boss Blues
  • Predator (Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time, #1)
  • Horseshoe
  • So Much for Democracy
  • What the Zhang Boys Know
  • Silver's Odyssey
  • The Day Before 9/11
  • Death Money (A Detective Jack Yu Investigation #4)
  • Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know: Eleven Courageous Canines Tell All