If it’s Friday, it must be France …
It’s Friday the 13th! Thought by some to bring bad luck, to me it’s always a date for good news because one of my sons was born on that date. Today, this Friday the 13th, brought me a different type of good news.
Drawing Lessons will be on sale in Australia beginning Monday. I thought I would check my book stats on Amazon.com.au and I came across this lovely review. I hope you don’t mind me sharing this food for my writer’s soul.
I loved writing Drawing Lessons but I find it my most difficult novel to promote because of the sad beginning. I know I try to avoid it.
5.0 out of 5 stars
ByBella TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 February 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
Wow. What an astonishingly touching story! I love how poetically this author writes. There was so much heart, so much beauty in this story. From the saddest situation imaginable grew something truly divine. So refreshing to read something that managed to paint such colourful images without being overly descriptive, and so wonderful to read something that blended all different kinds of people of all ages so beautifully. An absolute triumph from Patricia Sands.
If you have friends in Australia, please share this with them. Here’s the link in Amazon.com.au.
And the blurb:
The author of the Love in Provence series returns to the South of France with a poignant portrait of a woman who must learn how to create a new life for herself…
Sixty-two-year-old Arianna arrives in the South of France for a two-week artists’ workshop full of anticipation but burdened by guilt. Back home in Toronto, she has been living with the devastating diagnosis of her husband’s dementia and the heartbreak of watching the man she has loved for decades slip away before her eyes. What does her future hold without Ben? Before her is a blank canvas.
Encouraged by her family to take some time for herself, she has traveled to Arles to set up her easel in the same fields of poppies and sunflowers that inspired Van Gogh. Gradually, she rediscovers the inner artist she abandoned long ago. Drawing strength from the warm companionship and gentle wisdom of her fellow artists at the retreat—as well as the vitality of guest lecturer Jacques de Villeneuve, an artist and a cowboy—Arianna searches her heart for permission to embrace the life in front of her and, like the sunflowers, once again face the light.
Set in and around the intriguing town of Arles and down into the fascinating Camargue, the story also has the spirit of Vincent van Gogh woven into the pages.
Much of my research was conducted here in the peacefully beautiful setting of the monastery of St. Paul de Mausole, an easy walk outside St. Remy-de-Provence. Vincent admitted himself here in May 1889 for treatment. He found a certain degree of peace and acceptance from the health practitioners and his creativity flourished in between his psychotic episodes. Inspired by the light and beauty of the surrounding landscapes he built on his prodigious period in Arles (during the previous 18 months), producing some of his best work.
He remained for a year before leaving for Auvers-sur-Oise to live closer to his brother, Theo. Sadly, he died two months later.
It was here that I also observed visiting artists finding their own inspiration, surrounded by the aura of Vincent. Magic.