Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale

About the book

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.
Reviewed by New Forest/Waterside U3A Reading Group:

In addition to being an excellent read it is a great source for group discussion on a wide range of personal behaviour and relationships. Patrick Gale gets empathetically under the skin of a cast of characters so seemingly diverse one is tempted to doubt that they could survive each other, but leaves the reader with a sense of understanding and acceptance of their lives. This is a book not to be missed.

Star rating: ****

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6 thoughts on “Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale”

  1. Review by Fareham WEA evening:
    Well liked by almost all the group. Interesting structure with multiple viewpoints and unexpected twist at the end.
    Star rating: ***

  2. Review by Fareham WEA evening:
    Well liked by almost all the group. Interesting structure with multiple viewpoints and unexpected twist at the end.
    Star rating: ***

  3. Review by Bookworm Bunch Ringwood:
    good insight into Quaker religion and what it’s like living with someone who has bipolar. Generally enjoyed by group.
    Star rating: ***+

  4. Review by Book Buddies Reading group
    Excellent descriptive passages. A variety of opinions on how convincing the storyline was. Exhibition notes – an interesting method of introducing each chapter but there were different views as to its effectiveness.
    Rating: ***

  5. Review by Enjoying Books Group
    We all enjoyed this beautifully constructed novel. Interesting characters – insightful- and led to an interesting discussion.
    Star rating: ***+

  6. Review by Sheet WI
    A bit like a jigsaw puzzle with different pieces to fit together. Interesting characterisation.

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