Just when Leila thinks she has everything under control, her deepest insecurities resurface when she must confront her unresolved issues surrounding the mother who abandoned her as a baby, and the men who raised her. Not even Clarence Myles can show her the way, and so Leila embarks on a journey of self-discovery that sends her drifting from place to place in search of answers.
In the process of zigzagging her way between North and South, Leila encounters a series of intense psychological twists and turns that send her reeling, grappling with more questions about her identity. Embarking on a final quest for what it means to be ‘whole,’ Leila risks everything she knows about maintaining control; on a calculated whim, she boards a boat with a young woman who is everything Leila is not. While navigating her own heart, nothing could prepare Leila for the biggest truth she’s about to learn.
J. B. Chicoine was born on Long Island, New York, and grew up in Amityville during the 1960s and 70s. She has lived in New Hampshire, Kansas City and Michigan. She enjoys setting her stories in New England.
She has been writing stories since she was a girl, but didn't complete a novel until she was nearly thirty. Since then, she has completed four more novels; UNCHARTED: Story for a Shipwright, SPILLED COFFEE, PORTRAIT OF A GIRL RUNNING and its sequel PORTRAIT OF A PROTEGE.
J. B. Chicoine's novels are character driven, (though she does love a plot twist). As a watercolor artist, people are one of her favorite subjects. She says that developing a character is so much like painting a portrait--adding layers as she goes--creating depth.
She also enjoys designing covers and binding her novels. She blogs about her painting and writing, and also has a Website--www.JBChicoine.com. When she's not writing or painting, she enjoys volunteer work, baking crusty breads and working of various projects with her husband. Please feel free to contact her--she loves interacting with her readers.
I was eager to receive an ARC of Portrait of a Girl Adrift, and dove right in.
Leila’s life is again in transition. Not only is she struggling with mixed feelings about Clarence Myles marrying her grandmother, but as the story opens, we get a sense that all is not as well as when Portrait of a Protégé ended. Go figure—Leila has a lot of unresolved issues that Chicoine seeded in Portrait of a Girl Running.
For instance, we never did find out exactly what the deal was with Leila’s mother and why she abandoned Leila—but in Adrift, we find out—and it’s a shocker. Since this is the third book in the trilogy, Chicoine also revisits another character that shaped Leila as a youth—Joe. I won’t go into detail so as not to give away anything for those who haven’t read the earlier stories, but Leila’s past—her abandonment issues—are finally catching up to her with a vengeance.
Chicoine takes Leila—and her readers—on a rollercoaster ride, pulling us from one setting to another, filling in the blanks of Leila’s formative years, and providing insight on the characters we’ve been curious about. And of course, there’s a good dose of interaction between Leila and her mentor Clarence Myles.
In addition to Joe, we again meet up with Bonnie and also André, but some of my new favorites appear in Adrift when Leila does something very unlikely—she boards a boat headed for the Cayman Islands. Unlikely as it seems, Chicoine skillfully maneuvers Leila so that it feels much in keeping with her character’s development. And of course, there are twists to the story.
If you like music, food, New Orleans, sailing, and tropical islands, you’ll love the details that Chicoine seeds in. Overall, I really enjoyed Portrait of a Girl Adrift—Chicoine’s prose and her colorful characters are engaging. The ending wasn’t what I expected, and even days later, I’m still pondering it…I really didn’t want the story to end…
Fitting finale of the Portraits trilogy. Leila finally realizes she doesn't need a man! Exciting adventures on the high seas and finding closure with her family history. Loved the visit to New Orleans and all of the cajun cooking!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.