Portraits – first review!

Got my first review for my novel Portraits. Take a look.

Portraits1Col

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06/05/2015
Review Rating: 4 stars. (out of 5)
Reviewed By Nina Camara for Readers’ Favorite

Portraits by Tom Hendricks is an interesting story about a platonic love. Jack Labas is a 40-year-old unsuccessful artist at a low point of his life. His work is not selling well, he has to work several jobs to get by. As a light in the darkness comes Missy U – his secret admirer. They start to swap letters where she expresses how much she loves his art … and him. He is intrigued. After a while, his career is also finally getting on the right track. He joins Dallas Department of Art and after some time he becomes a member of an artist co-op where he finally gets a chance to showcase his art. He keeps in touch with Missy, but at the co-op he meets another woman, Francesca. They fall in love but Missy is too important for him to leave behind and therefore, despite initial disapproval of Francesca, he continues their correspondence. Missy thus becomes an ‘invisible’ part of the co-op and becomes familiar with its activities and members. Jack once gets an idea to paint each member of the co-op – including Missy. She is too shy to give him her picture. Therefore he gets an idea – he paints her based on his imagination and impression that he got about her from the letters she addressed to him.

Overall, this is a nice, poignant story of love. I think the story could be improved if the author added some more tension in the relationship between Jack, Missy and Francesca which is essentially a love triangle. However, this is resolved too quickly and therefore the story loses a bit of tension which could have made it more interesting. However, I liked this story; it is very original, sensitive and romantic. Good job.

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My response:

Reviewer Camara mentions the love triangle part of the novel. I’m glad she did. That was an important half of the story, and a very emotional part of the story. I appreciate her comments.

There is also the other half of the short novel. Portraits is subtitled a book on art, artists, and the art revolution. There is a lot on every aspect of painting in there. It culminates in a sort of blue print of how an art revolution by this co-op of 9 artists could revitalize modern art – that has in reality, slipped into doldrums. That revolution is spelled out in the character, Missy’s essay on art.

So beyond the fictional novel, is an essay on art, that outlines a major change in non ficitonal art (the real world of art). The novel is not only a romantic novel, but a novel of ideas. If I didn’t talk about that it would be like talking about Moby Dick with no mention of whaling. I have a feeling that Camara ran out of room and didn’t get to the other part of the novel. Reviews can only be so long. But I wanted to make sure the other half of the book was represented. Thanks for reading.

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