Friday, October 3, 2014

Review: Painting Juliana by Martha Louise Hunter

Painting Juliana
by Martha Louise Hunter

Publisher: Goldminds Publishing, Inc
Pages: 362
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Juliana Birdsong is your typical eight-year-old with an obsessive-compulsive mother who's too paranoid to leave the house. Making double-lined, black-out drapes to protect their home from the outside world, her mother only looks up from her sewing machine when Perry Mason comes on TV - the type of successful man Juliana should marry if she wants to get anywhere in life. But Juliana has other things to worry about. Night after night, she's awakened by a terrifying dream where she's chased down a long, tapering highway on the back of her father's motorcycle heading for an enormous, twisting funnel cloud that waits on the horizon. Even after locking it away inside her bedside drawer, Juliana wonders if there are parts of the dream she hasn't seen yet. Years later, she finds dynamic trial lawyer, Oliver Morrissey and she marries him for love. Life is going reasonably well for the priviledged socialite - that is, until she's faced with losing everything, including her children. Stepping out of her Lexus, Juliana peels off her Chanel sunglasses and glares up at her childhood home that's now smothered in ivy. Inside, there's only her estranged father left, who she's sure caused her mother's death. Moving in, she discovers a nude portrait of her with an odd set of tiny red footprints on the ankle, and another surprise she's not expecting: Her father has Alzheimer's and he needs her. Plus, a shipment of mysterious oil paintings arrives, all with his signature. When Juliana puts a brush in his hand, it sets off a surreal time warp and the canvases eerily transform, painting a different picture of the parents she thought she knew. As tragic secrets emerge that mirror her own, Juliana's old demons come back to haunt her. Consumed with his care and desperate for her old life back, the dream is still chasing her and it's catching up fast. Just when she can't run any faster, the funnel cloud is waiting on the horizon, twisting even faster than before.

Kritters Thoughts:  A family drama with a lot of drama!  Juliana is a mother of twins and while in couples therapy her husband drops a bomb on her that sends her whole life in a tail spin.  At the same time her father's Alzheimer's is taking a turn for the worse and she decides to move back into her childhood home to take care of him.

Juliana was an interesting main character and at times I was her biggest cheerleader and then at other times I wanted to shake her silly!  She had some definite ups and downs and some decisions that I wish I could have changed, but I still wanted to read on to see where she would end up.  Her husband on the other hand was just despicable and I just couldn't find any redeeming quality about him and really had a hard with Juliana's want to get back together with him.  

One other aspect of the book that I didn't completely love was the short and choppy chapters.  Each chapter didn't flow to the next; instead the chapter started so abruptly and some were so short that it was almost jarring to read.  I wish there had been a little more flow between each chapter or keep the abrupt changes and make the chapters longer, but maybe that was just me.

Overall I liked the family drama that had a lot of drama, the drama was great!  I loved that I was ultimately rooting for Juliana.  The parts with her father far exceeded many of the other moments that I didn't care for as much.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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