This is my latest book club selection. I knew nothing about it prior to reading it – quite refreshing really.
Here is the blurb …
Sisters Natalie and Alice Kessler were close, until adolescence wrenched them apart. Natalie is headstrong, manipulative—and beautiful; Alice is a dreamer who loves books and birds. During their family’s summer holiday at the lake, Alice falls under the thrall of a struggling young painter, Thomas Bayber, in whom she finds a kindred spirit. Natalie, however, remains strangely unmoved, sitting for a family portrait with surprising indifference. But by the end of the summer, three lives are shattered.
Decades later, Bayber, now a reclusive, world-renowned artist, unveils a never-before-seen work, Kessler Sisters; a provocative painting depicting the young Thomas, Natalie, and Alice. Bayber asks Dennis Finch, an art history professor, and Stephen Jameson, an eccentric young art authenticator, to sell the painting for him. That task becomes more complicated when the artist requires that they first locate Natalie and Alice, who seem to have vanished. And Finch finds himself wondering why Thomas is suddenly so intent on resurrecting the past.
In The Gravity of Birds histories and memories refuse to stay buried; in the end only the excavation of the past will enable its survivors to love again.
I found this novel compelling. I read fast to find out what happened next. Did he? Did she? Did they? It is definitely all about the plot I can see it being made into a fast paced movie. I had to keep reminding myself that some of the characters were elderly. I do have a few lingering questions about a couple of things, and is it possible to keep something secret for so long when more than one person is involved in keeping the secret (I feel sure there must be death bed confessions that spill the beans).
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