Tuesday, 23 September 2014

REVIEW! MANscapes - A Journey into Light

This review is from: MANscapes (Kindle Edition)
"A Journey into Light" the subtitle of MANscapes most clearly delineates its true theme. Is there a way out of abuse into mature love? It's a story that defines/demonstrates different kinds of love: abusive, passionate, maternal—and, finally—the less exciting, but lovely sustainable love. This is the eternal story: what is love? How it goes wrong. How it comes right.
When MANscapes asks the question “What is love?” It also answers it. Love is…to be discovered/to discover…to see/be seen…to see into/be seen into…to have our beauty seen…we, as works of art…our art as works of us.
Tracing the plot of MANscapes (spoilers? Not really. The story is in the gorgeous writing) we find:

• Art opens Clara and her life—but this opening is disrupted by an abusive marriage. I love the description of how she finds her artistic voice.

• She is finally pushed over the edge, leaves the marriage, get's lucky, and wins enough money to become a woman of independent means. Clara goes to Tahiti—following in Gaugin's footsteps (only, gender reversed).
She lives in a retreat led by a wise woman. She falls for the wrong guy, but it's passionate (and true in its own way).My favorite passage is when love blends with art and talk and creativity and tenderness. The MANscape paintings on sheets are really LOVEscapes with rich associations between body/paint/soul

• Then, back in Lisbon, Clara’s abusive husband dies (does he really commit suicide?) and she comes home to be with her daughter.

• When she returns to Tahiti, her lover has once again sunk into self-destruction. She suffers.

• She learns she is pregnant. She finally emerges from the depths of despair to live again.

• She learns to accept the love of the gentle, tender man she's known all along.

It's a journey towards wholeness. From darkness into the light. A redemption and resurrection story as Clara discovers that love doesn't have to hurt.


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