The Painting

The Painting

Book - 2004
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In 1869 Japan, a young woman escapes the confines of her arranged marriage by painting memories of her lover on mulberry paper. She secretly wraps the painting around a ceramic pot that's bound for Europe. In France, a disenchanted young man works as a clerk at an import shop. When he opens the box from Japan, he discovers the brilliant watercolor of two lovers locked in an embrace under a plum tree. He steals the painting and hides it in his room. With each viewing, he sees something different, and gradually the painting transforms him.

Set outside the new capital of Tokyo during the Meiji Restoration and in Paris during the Franco-Prussian War, The Painting is a richly imagined story of four characters whose lives are delicately and powerfully entwined: Ayoshi, the painter, pines for her lover as she dutifully attends to her husband; Ayoshi's husband, Hayashi, a government official who's been disfigured in a deadly fire, has his own well of secret yearnings; Jorgen, wounded by the war and by life, buries himself in work at the Paris shop; and the shop owner's sister, Natalia, who shows Jorgen the true message of the painting.

Exquisitely written and utterly spellbinding, The Painting reveals the enduring effect of art in ordinary life and marks the debut of a skilled stylist and first-rate storyteller.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781565124417
1565124413
Branch Call Number: FICTION Schuyler Nina 2004
Characteristics: 299 p. ;,24 cm.

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fpsutka
Jun 22, 2013

I found this book to be very depressing. Life is too short! I managed to read about 100 pages then simply gave up!
F.P.

m
maven
Jun 17, 2010

The premise of this novel was interesting to me, but the actual story just didn't hold up. The perspective kept jumping between countries and people, but the ongoing story just wasn't compelling enough for me to finish the book. I gave up before I got halfway through.

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