Jane Ward The Mosaic Artist

ISBN 13: 9781453860045

The Mosaic Artist

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9781453860045: The Mosaic Artist

THE MOSAIC ARTIST tells the story of the break up of a family and the unorthodox ways in which two siblings hold themselves and others together in order to live their lives in the aftermath of messy divorce. Lives that had been torn apart and carefully reconstructed in the past are on the verge of shattering again, but Jack's decision to leave his children the house just might help them all remake their lives one more time.

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About the Author:

Jane Ward is the author of HUNGER (Forge, 2001) and THE MOSAIC ARTIST. Jane graduated from Simmons College in 1983 with a degree in English Literature, the desire to write novels, and an aptitude for and love of cooking. Upon graduation, she began working almost immediately in the food and hospitality industry, trying her hand at catering, planning corporate parties, and baking. After years of long days and late nights at both Creative Gourmets in Boston and The 95th Restaurant in Chicago, food – which had led Jane to so many wonderful work experiences – would take her to one more unexpected place. She found herself in a world filled with stories waiting to be told. For her first novel, HUNGER, Jane drew on her years of work experience to take a sensual and heartbreaking look at marriage, emotional hunger, appetite for life, and the myriad pleasures of a good meal well served. The story of THE MOSAIC ARTIST took shape after Jane's stint as weekend baker at the Quebrada Bakery in Arlington, MA. Over the morning's scones, muffins, and bread, Jane had many lively conversations with the bakery's cake decorator, a talented and accomplished mosaicist, and soon mosaic art found its outlet in one of the novel's main characters. Jane is currently at work on her third novel, THE WELCOME HOME; her weekly blog, FOOD AND FICTION (www.authorjaneward.com); and a food memoir entitled TATTOOED WITH FOOD. She is also a contributing writer to the online regional food magazine, Local In Season (www.localinseason.com) and occasional host of cooking videos for an internet recipe resource found on some Eagle-Tribune newspapers (food.gloucestertimes.com). Since 1983 Jane has lived in Chicago, Washington State, and Iceland before settling back in her home state of Massachusetts in 1999, where she now lives on its north shore with her husband, two children, and dog, Spy.

Review:

Children suffer when separation and divorce upset the equilibrium of their home life. Some couples manage this transition by maintaining civility and cooperating for the sake of their children. When a spouse has fallen for someone else, however, the one left behind may be too hurt to refrain from anger-fueled retaliation, making the breakup even more devastating for the children.

In her second novel, author Jane Ward explores the chaotic effects of divorce on the Manoli family. The Mosaic Artist takes place in the last quarter of the twentieth century; scenes alternate between the greater Boston area and a coastal cottage that serves as a getaway for Jack Manoli and his second wife, Sylvie. Although the story unfolds over the four days following Jack's death, the author uses many instances of flash-backs to explore a longer time period. Each chapter is narrated through the eyes of a different character, including Jack; his children, Shelley and Mark; and Slyvie Rocher, the woman for whom Jack sacrifices his first marriage. Readers learn, partially though flashbacks, how the characters experience and handle the aftershocks of divorce.

After twenty-three years of happiness with Sylvie, Jack suffers from terminal cancer. Bedridden in the guest room of the couple's condominium, he ruminates about past decisions. "The death room is the truth room and here's the truth: although I feel a great deal of sorrow over hurting my first wife and my children, I would do it again," he says.

Sylvie stays with Shelley and her husband for a week after Jack's death, and the two women talk the night of his funeral. Wanting family harmony long ago, Shelley forgave Jack and now recognizes the solidity of his union with Sylvie. She says, "Understanding this and knowing that I accept it stirs up disquiet within me, reminds me uncomfortably of Mark." Shelley has always been her younger brother's protector, a role assigned by her mother when she brought her second child home from the hospital.

Mark refuses to forgive Jack, and his anger prevents him from achieving success as a mosaic artist or in personal relationships. His current girlfriend provides stability and direction, but he blows up at her after the funeral. Drinking beer in a bar after the ceremony, he considers seducing the bartender. "...I felt myself following Jack's stroll into adultery," he says. "Part of me was dangerously close to understanding why he walked and that, more than hate, scared me."

Ward deftly portrays the psychological dynamics of this broken family. She succeeds in the challenge of changing points of view, except for minor deviations to omniscient. Mark's rage and a passion for mosaic art that justifies breaking things to release that anger, make sense, but some readers may tire of the author's descriptions of this process. The same is true of incidental information related more than once from different points of view.

This contemplative novel shows that the damage of divorce can endure for decades, but sometimes it can be resolved satisfactorily. Readers will find the book engrossing, as well as enlightening.

-Margaret Cullison --ForeWord Clarion Reviews

Children suffer when separation and divorce upset the equilibrium of their home life. Some couples manage this transition by maintaining civility and cooperating for the sake of their children. When a spouse has fallen for someone else, however, the one left behind may be too hurt to refrain from anger-fueled retaliation, making the breakup even more devastating for the children. In her second novel, author Jane Ward explores the chaotic effects of divorce on the Manoli family. The Mosaic Artist takes place in the last quarter of the twentieth century; scenes alternate between the greater Boston area and a coastal cottage that serves as a getaway for Jack Manoli and his second wife, Sylvie. Although the story unfolds over the four days following Jack's death, the author uses many instances of flash-backs to explore a longer time period. Each chapter is narrated through the eyes of a different character, including Jack; his children, Shelley and Mark; and Slyvie Rocher, the woman for whom Jack sacrifices his first marriage. Readers learn, partially though flashbacks, how the characters experience and handle the aftershocks of divorce. After twenty-three years of happiness with Sylvie, Jack suffers from terminal cancer. Bedridden in the guest room of the couple's condominium, he ruminates about past decisions. "The death room is the truth room and here's the truth: although I feel a great deal of sorrow over hurting my first wife and my children, I would do it again," he says. Sylvie stays with Shelley and her husband for a week after Jack's death, and the two women talk the night of his funeral. Wanting family harmony long ago, Shelley forgave Jack and now recognizes the solidity of his union with Sylvie. She says, "Understanding this and knowing that I accept it stirs up disquiet within me, reminds me uncomfortably of Mark." Shelley has always been her younger brother's protector, a role assigned by her mother when she brought her second child home from the hospital. Mark refuses to forgive Jack, and his anger prevents him from achieving success as a mosaic artist or in personal relationships. His current girlfriend provides stability and direction, but he blows up at her after the funeral. Drinking beer in a bar after the ceremony, he considers seducing the bartender. "...I felt myself following Jack's stroll into adultery," he says. "Part of me was dangerously close to understanding why he walked and that, more than hate, scared me." Ward deftly portrays the psychological dynamics of this broken family. She succeeds in the challenge of changing points of view, except for minor deviations to omniscient. Mark's rage and a passion for mosaic art that justifies breaking things to release that anger, make sense, but some readers may tire of the author's descriptions of this process. The same is true of incidental information related more than once from different points of view. This contemplative novel shows that the damage of divorce can endure for decades, but sometimes it can be resolved satisfactorily. Readers will find the book engrossing, as well as enlightening.

Margaret Cullison --ForeWord Clarion Reviews

A vibrant landscape of a family shattered by divorce, letting time and choices bring the pieces back together in moving on or letting go.

Ward's (Hunger, 2001) second novel begins from the perspective of Jack Manoli, lying on his deathbed in the condo he shares with his much younger second wife, Sylvie. His love for Sylvie, his former-secretary-turned-business-partner-and-wife, is absorbing and passionate enough to have caused Jack to start up an affair many years ago and leave his children, Mark and Shelley, with their unstable mother. Upon Jack's death, his now-adult children are left to decide what is to become of the Rockport lake house that was Sylvie and Jack's sanctuary, the foundation where their affair solidified into a life together and the site full of bad memories for Mark, as it was where father and son's relationship broke apart. For Mark, a pot-smoking mosaic artist, art imitates life; his anger is dangerously bottled up, destroying his relationship with his live-in girlfriend just as he shatters ceramic and glass for his mosaic landscapes. Shelley is a teacher working tirelessly to protect her younger brother and create the family life she never had for her husband and two daughters. She hopes to help Mark find a balance "somewhere in between perfection and devastation" creating a reality "where all the many pieces of us--the pleasant and painful--can be reconfigured into an imperfect but solid-enough life"-- something their father also strived to create in choosing Sylvie. Ward fashions characters with rich detail, allowing each to leave a distinct impression. While not always likable (Sylvie comes off as a selfish stepmother at times), they are nonetheless genuine. Building layer upon layer of each family member's story, Ward shows the complexity of divorce from all sides, even revisiting Jack's thoughts throughout the book. Mark and Shelley are faced with what to do with the lake house and whether to shed the hurt caused by their father's choices by making new choices for themselves to gain happiness, peace and, ultimately, freedom.

A rich, complex novel that mixes art and life into a story about the decisions that lead to healing or hurt. --Kirkus Indie Reviews, September 7, 2011

A vibrant landscape of a family shattered by divorce, letting time and choices bring the pieces back together in moving on or letting go. Ward's (Hunger, 2001) second novel begins from the perspective of Jack Manoli, lying on his deathbed in the condo he shares with his much younger second wife, Sylvie. His love for Sylvie, his former-secretary-turned-business-partner-and-wife, is absorbing and passionate enough to have caused Jack to start up an affair many years ago and leave his children, Mark and Shelley, with their unstable mother. Upon Jack's death, his now-adult children are left to decide what is to become of the Rockport lake house that was Sylvie and Jack's sanctuary, the foundation where their affair solidified into a life together and the site full of bad memories for Mark, as it was where father and son's relationship broke apart. For Mark, a pot-smoking mosaic artist, art imitates life; his anger is dangerously bottled up, destroying his relationship with his live-in girlfriend just as he shatters ceramic and glass for his mosaic landscapes. Shelley is a teacher working tirelessly to protect her younger brother and create the family life she never had for her husband and two daughters. She hopes to help Mark find a balance "somewhere in between perfection and devastation" creating a reality "where all the many pieces of us--the pleasant and painful--can be reconfigured into an imperfect but solid-enough life"-- something their father also strived to create in choosing Sylvie. Ward fashions characters with rich detail, allowing each to leave a distinct impression. While not always likable (Sylvie comes off as a selfish stepmother at times), they are nonetheless genuine. Building layer upon layer of each family member's story, Ward shows the complexity of divorce from all sides, even revisiting Jack's thoughts throughout the book. Mark and Shelley are faced with what to do with the lake house and whether to shed the hurt caused by their father's choices by making new choices for themselves to gain happiness, peace and, ultimately, freedom. A rich, complex novel that mixes art and life into a story about the decisions that lead to healing or hurt. --Kirkus Indie Reviews, September 7, 2011

The Mosaic Artist Jane Ward.

When Jack Manoli was a young man, he left his wife--and two children, Shelley and Mark--to marry his secretary, Sylvie. Years later, when Jack dies of cancer, Shelley has managed to find peace with her father, while Mark still clings to anger and abandonment. Further complicating matters, Jack bequeaths his and widowed Sylvie's summer home to Shelley and Mark. Now Sylvie, Mark, and Shelley must struggle to come to terms with one another and the past. This is an exceptionally well-crafted novel, a delicate story, and a fine exploration of divorce, forgiveness, happiness, and loss. The relationships between the characters are thoughtfully constructed, and Ward's decision to alternate among points of view provides an invaluable window to character growth and evolution. Perhaps the only underdeveloped character is Sylvie, who remains more an object (of love or resentment) than a fully realized individual. This is unfortunate, because it's her perspective that many readers will find most intriguing. - Publisher's Weekly, Reviewed on: 10/17/2011 --Publisher's Weekly, October 17, 2011

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Book Description Createspace, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. THE MOSAIC ARTIST tells the story of the break up of a family and the unorthodox ways in which two siblings hold themselves and others together in order to live their lives in the aftermath of messy divorce. Lives that had been torn apart and carefully reconstructed in the past are on the verge of shattering again, but Jack s decision to leave his children the house just might help them all remake their lives one more time. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781453860045

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. 358 pages. The Manoli family was torn apart by divorce while children Mark and Shelley were still young. Devastated by the break-up, Mark became estranged from his father, severing ties with him and never forging a relationship with his stepmother Sylvie, while Shelley found a different path toward acceptance. Now, as their father Jack comes to the end of his life, he bequeaths to his children his beloved cottage, his honeymoon home with Sylvie. Old wounds are torn open and secrets from the past force Mark and Shelley to reevaluate their lives and the relationships theyve delicately maintained through so many years of rage and resentment. Shelley, a middle school teacher with a husband and two children, searches for the comfort and support she has spent a lifetime giving, while Mark, an artist with a girlfriend he keeps at arms length, must finally come face-to-face with the event that devastated his life. Each has their own story that must unfold in its own way, probing for the healing and redemptive power held within necessary to rebuild and find the space to create a new definition of their family at a time of death, and continuing life. A moving portrait of a familys uneasy stasis torn apart by the death of a parent, The Mosaic Artist is a touching reminder of the frailties of the human condition and the fragile nature of the safe worlds we endeavor so hard to build. This deeply moving examination of the pain of divorce, the lifelong effect it can have on the children bearing the brunt of it, and the healing work required to rebuild the lives of those affected is a voice from the broken homes of modern America. Insightful and patiently paced, it finds the quiet spaces in the human heart, forever probing for the places where pain is hidden, where anger roils, and confusion abounds. With a tremendous gift for what is left unsaid, Jane Ward delivers a hushed but forceful rendering of the broken spirit hidden within, and the chances for healing understanding delivers. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781453860045

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Book Description Createspace, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.THE MOSAIC ARTIST tells the story of the break up of a family and the unorthodox ways in which two siblings hold themselves and others together in order to live their lives in the aftermath of messy divorce. Lives that had been torn apart and carefully reconstructed in the past are on the verge of shattering again, but Jack s decision to leave his children the house just might help them all remake their lives one more time. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781453860045

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