Notes from an Exhibition
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From the author of A Perfectly Good Man, the bestselling story of an artist tormented by depression and the toll of creativity.
When troubled artist Rachel Kelly dies she leaves behind an extraordinary body of work – but for her family there is a legacy of secrets and painful revelations.
Rachel exerts a power that outlives her. To her children she is both curse and blessing, as they cope with the inheritance of her passions – and demons. Only their father's gift of stillness can withstand Rachel’s destructive influence and the suspicion that they all came a poor second to her art.
Piecing together the clues of her life – as artist, lover, mother, wife and patient – takes the reader from Cornwall to Canada across a span of forty years. What emerges is a tender story of enduring love, and a portrait of a family coping with the sometimes too dazzling brilliance of a genius.
‘I was completely enthralled by "Notes from an Exhibition." Patrick's Gale's prose grows ever more acrobatic and heartstopping, though somehow he never seems to be showing off. And few writers have grasped the twisted dynamics of family the way Gale has. There's really no one he can't inhabit, understand and forgive.’ Armistead Maupin
'All the characters are dimensional and heartbreaking. It is a book saturated with love and humanity. And it has a great last line.' Barbara Gowdy
'Poised and pitch–perfect throughout, this is an engrossing portrait of a troubled and remarkable character. A fine writer at the top of his game.' Mail on Sunday
'This is an uplifting, immensely empathetic novel, and Gale's prose, as ever is as clear and bright as the Cornish light.' Guardian
'A tender, powerful novel.' The Gloss
'This is a book full of insight, intelligence and quiet humour familiar from his previous masterpiece, “Rough Music”.' Image magazine
'Gale moves seamlessly between different characters, and from past to present, so we never the narrative thrust. An excellent summer read.' Psychologies magazine
'His sense of place is utterly coherent and he makes the background easy to navigate…the writing itself is so unpretentious, and Gale brings such patience and generosity to the story, that one cannot help but respond to his uplifting faith in human nature.' New Statesman
About the author
Patrick Gale was born in 1962 on the Isle of Wight. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford and now writes full time.