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Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding

About the book

Iasi, Romania, the early 1950s. A nameless man is found on the steps of a hospital. Deaf and mute, he is unable to communicate until a young nurse called Safta brings paper and pencils with which he can draw. Slowly, painstakingly, memories appear on the page. The memories are Safta’s also. For the man is Augustin, son of the cook at the manor house which was Safta’s family home. Born six months apart, they grew up with a connection that bypassed words. But while Augustin’s world remained the same size Safta’s expanded to embrace languages, society – and a fleeting love, one long, hot summer. But then came war, and in its wake a brutal Stalinist regime, and nothing would remain the same.

Reviewed by The Pageturners Reading Group:

Our view was unanimous: a delightful read. It was beautifully descriptive of Romania 1939-1950’s – a country of which we knew nothing. With an interesting deaf mute character inspired by a real life painter. We all felt that the ending was somewhat of a let down, but it was a very minor fault.

Star rating: ***

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3 thoughts on “Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding”

  1. Review by Democrats
    We enjoyed considering the issue of communication and were fascinated and informed by the setting of Roumania as it changed from pre to post WW2. The context and original setting made this a very popular read. Something a little different.
    *** 3 stars

  2. Review by The Accidental Reading Group
    An intriguing and well written story. The actual events in Romania were largely inknown to us and this made the setting very interesting.
    *** 3 stars

  3. Museum Reading Group
    A beautifully written novel with echoes of the writing of Patrick Leigh Fermor. An illustration on his biography is surely of the house mentioned by Harding or her inspiration. It was also an unusual slant on the little known part of Europe through the eyes and art of Augustin and of a period of history when for too many people the opening lines of L P Hartley’s “The Go-between” became tragically true.
    Star rating: ****

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