Book of Secrets's Reviews > The Gilder

The Gilder by Kathryn Kay
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Sep 09, 2011

it was amazing
Read from December 29, 2011 to January 10, 2012

As a young woman, Marina Nesmith traveled to Florence to study gilding. She immersed herself in the beauty of the city and its culture. It’s there that she meets a photographer named Thomas and his wife Sarah. The close relationship that forms between them is complex, and Marina is especially confused by her feeling toward Sarah. One day a rash mistake changes Marina’s life forever. Instead of hurting Sarah with the truth, Marina flies back to the United States, where she builds lie upon lie to cover up what she has done. It’s not until almost 16 years later that she returns to Florence to finally face the truth.

The story is told in two parts: one when Marina is 23, and one when she has a 15-year old daughter. I was so absorbed in this story, I read it in one day. It’s obvious that her daughter Zoe is the most important thing in Marina’s life, and the lies she created were meant to protect her. But at what cost? This book was an emotional read, and it made me wonder how Marina’s life would have been different if she’d just been honest with Sarah and Thomas from the beginning.

Not only did I become invested in the lives of the characters, but I was drawn in by the rich descriptions of Florence also. The city sounds spectacular, and since I’m not a traveler, reading this book may be as close to Florence as I get. The Gilder is a poignant story about strong women, friendship, betrayal and forgiveness. I would recommend this book to fans of women’s fiction/contemporary fiction.
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