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Review by: Grady Harp, “A Compelling Novel and a Fine Discourse on Contemporary Art”

Mary E. Martin understands the craft of writing engrossing novels peopled with credible and fascinating characters, excellent management of varying locations around the world, and management of storylines that are propulsive and challenging in content and technique of development. In addition to writing a solid story in THE DRAWING LESSON she also demonstrates a rather thorough background in the visual arts: the information that drives the story of the artist Alexander Wainwright, a highly regarded representational artist bent on depicting pastoral scenes, and his /nemesis’ Rinaldo, a conceptual artist whose driver seems to be not to discredit his rival’s career but to challenge him into joining the contemporary times. This is a novel that will please a broad audience – those who love romance novels and those who want to explore the universal discussion of what is art at this particular time in history. [Read more. . .]

Review by: Fran Lewis for BookPleasures.com

Visual images, light sources, perspective and understanding of the subject are just some important factors or components of a great artist’s work. As you view a painting or piece of sculpture you come away with your own interpretation of the piece being presented. When viewing the painting The Hay Wagon those present saw something unique and different in it that even the artist had missed. Alexander Wainwright painted a picture with God in it and a special light that was cast on each side that many saw; yet he did not. Many writers and artists are guided by the strength and spirit of others. His own muse guided him, when his sight was waning and the source of his true ability to see and paint might soon be gone. This brings me to my review of an outstanding novel by Mary E. Martin, The Drawing Lesson. [Read more . . .]

Reviewer Fran Lewis: Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters degrees and a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently. She is a member of Who’s Who of America’s Teachers and Who’s Who of America’s Executives from Cambridge. In addition, she is the author of three children’s books and a fourth Alzheimer’s book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey: Ruth’s story in honor of her mom. Fran hopes to create more awareness for a cure of Alzheimer.
She was also the musical director for shows in her school and ran the school’s newspaper. Fran writes reviews for authors upon request and for several other sites. You can read some of my reviews on http://Ezine.com and on ijustfinished.com under the name Gabina. Click Here To Listen to Fran’s Radio Show and Here

Review by: Vonnie Faroqui for Ink Slinger’s Whimsey and Writers in the Sky

The Drawing Lesson, by author Mary E. Martin stands among the best of literary fiction. She brings wisdom, grace, and beauty to the page as skillfully as the best painter to the canvas . . . .  a deeply insightful book about life, choices, forgiveness, madness, self doubt, and creative inspiration. [Read more . . .]

Review by: Molly Martin for The Compulsive Reader

Mary E Martin, author of The Osgood Trilogy, has just finished the first work of her Trilogy of Remembrance.

The Drawing Lesson opens with a prologue; a rain drenched figure entering the gallery of Helmsworth and Son is soon recognized as one Alexander Wainwright. Wainwright, an artist, has a most startling statement to make. “I’m afraid I’m losing my vision!”  From that startling opening the story of Alexander Wainwright begins. ‘James Helmsworth, dedicated biographer who has done his best to check all the facts presents the facts of a remarkable year in a great artist’s life.’ Wainwright’s most recent painting, The Hay Wagon, presents is a stunning, moonlit panorama. As is found in Wainwright’s previous works an uncanny, almost supernatural light generates dazzling images in of an outdated hay wagon surrounded with a strange, dazzling glow. Much to the chagrin of another artist, The Hay Wagon is deemed so good that it wins a most coveted contest.

While acclaimed by so many, not every one really realizes what a great artist Wainwright is. Mocked by one Rinaldo a theoretical artist who laughs at what he feels is Wainwright’s mundane love of beauty, while believing his accomplishment serves to prove that the universe is confused and absurd; Rinaldo sets out to demoralize, humble and eventually ruin Wainwright. Rinaldo is an artist for whom art is a forceful entity, he feels that art should titillate and even shock. To that end, Rinaldo defaces Alex’s painting.  Upon the lovely work ugly marks appear. At first Wainwright minimizes the assault upon his work, however before long he is beset by a fearsome hallucination of distorted, somewhat human troll like beings. From that beginning we follow Wainwright on a trek first to Venice and then on to Canada and finally to New York. As Wainwright meets with various and sundry folk, Rinaldo is waiting in New York City determined to continue his vengeance.

Once again Martin sets down an absorbing tale based in an equally stimulating premise. She peoples the pages with well written prose, characters who stand out and seem to come alive, dialogue to intrigue and hold interest and settings to draw the reader into the setting. This complex narrative detailing two individual albeit entwined tales is set in modern time, however discourse is often filled with subtle nuances and gradation; the reader is caught up and carried along as agents and reviewers, public, and artists all converge. We see artist Wainwright searching worriedly for his muse and the foundation of that miraculous subtle luminosity that graces and indicates his work while Rinaldo continues his quest to bring to public awareness his own thought of emblematic type art.

Reading The Drawing Lesson is pretty akin to watching a well made film shown on TV in the quiet of evening when the house is hushed and a nice cup of tea is close at hand. The reader can study, make observations and speculate as Alex and Rinaldo each balanced on the periphery of madness both encounter their own frailties.  I am anxious to see where Martin next moves her trilogy; with a stylish writing manner not often practiced so much today, and settings out of the so called norm, Martin offers works well worth the reading.

Sure to please those who enjoy a bit of the uncanny, thriller and mystery, The Drawing Lesson can be read as a stand alone work, however, as the trilogy continues I am sure that this series, as with Martin’s Osgood Trilogy, is a set of three stand alone tales which come together to create a sense of accomplishment, finality and ‘gosh I’m glad to have discovered these works’ when the last paragraph is read.

Review by: Robert Adams (reproduced here with permission)

“A most satisfying read. Two fascinating and intertwined stories—one of a painter’s struggle to rediscover his Muse, the source of the magical light in his work, and the other a dramatization of the ongoing struggle between conceptual and representational art. Mary Martin handles a large cast of characters with great narrative skill. Each has a compelling story to tell and a past—sometimes shocking—to come to terms with. Martin brings her settings, including London and Venice, to vivid life.”

Author and lecturer, Mr. Adams delivers highly acclaimed reviews each year of contemporary novels to sold out audiences in Toronto and Montreal. He has reviewed books by such novelists as—Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winning author Saul Bellow, Herzog; Booker Prize-winning novelist, J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace; Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner; and Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections.

 

Review by: Simon Barrett for Blogger News Network

The First in the Trilogy of Remembrance

Mary Martin hit my radar last year with The Osgoode trilogy, This series was very well crafted, and unlike many trilogy projects each book stood on its own merit. All too often you find that book two is filler. Book one is designed to hook the reader, book two two just strings the reader along, and book three gets to the meat and potatoes of the story. I did not find that with Marty Martin, there was a stand alone story in each volume.

I received word about The Drawing Lesson a few weeks ago. I have to admit that I was interested to see what new direction Mary Martin had headed in. Once again she has opted for a three book series, which is an ambitious challenge for any author. In someways I was expecting a reinvention of The Osgoode Trilogy, I liked the style of writing, and I thought the plot line was an interesting one. I could not have been more surprised with The Drawing Lesson. The author has headed off in a new and very interesting direction.

Not only has Mary Martin opted for a very different plot line, but even the writing style is different in a subtle and reader pleasing way. I class myself as being someone that can recognize a writers style. Show me a 500 word sample of a writer I am familiar with, and I can tell you who wrote it.  The Drawing Lesson is a work that I would not have been able to guess the author. The style is so completely different! [Read more . . .]

Reviewed by: GABixler for Book Reader’s Heaven

Mary E. Martin Presents Startling, Dramatic Mystery, The Drawing Lesson… When I saw the cover of this book on Wattpad, I immediately was drawn into the scene. Don’t you love book covers that attract you enough to demand to know more!?! I immediately left a comment to ask whether the book was completed… And, as internet interactions sometimes go, it was much later that I finally connected with the author! You’re right I don’t often go out seeking to know about a book, but with all the trouble I’ve been having with computer “stuff,” I just went out and bought it, only to start reading it at the same time I was finishing The Figures of Beauty, another novel taking me into the life of an artist…

There is little comparison in relation to the stories, but there is that demonstration of passion that you can not miss when you find it, whether by the author who writes the story, or by the artist about whom the story is written.
Martin does not really get into the true mystery of the book until the second half of the story. Still the early story in intriguing as you sink into the deep emotions revealed . . . [Read more. . .]
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