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A Thousand Swans Claire R.P. Belew

A Thousand Swans

Claire R.P. Belew

Published August 26th 2014
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
136 pages
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 About the Book 

After losing her job at the art gallery in L.A., and with her love life in shambles, Gina Girard escapes to a friends cottage in Maine. Once there, Gina makes friends with several lovable characters who introduce her to, not one, but two men whoMoreAfter losing her job at the art gallery in L.A., and with her love life in shambles, Gina Girard escapes to a friends cottage in Maine. Once there, Gina makes friends with several lovable characters who introduce her to, not one, but two men who steal her heart through the telling of swan stories. Galen Erodopoulos, the local art instructor, lures Gina into romance with the well-known Greek myth of Zeuss seduction of Leda through his transformation into a swan. Equally enticing, Owen Oakley, a ruggedly handsome fisherman, shares the Persian story of the beautiful wood-nymph who magically becomes a swan with the aid of a golden necklace only to have it stolen by the hunter who loves her. Gina learns about the rich history and exquisite beauty of swans throughout these romantic exchanges. But she also hears original swan stories created by her new group of friends. These new friends include: Myrna, an elderly and somewhat eccentric albeit avant-garde artist who paints on moving canvases- Pam, who excels at caring for her friends- and A.J. and Mona, a lesbian couple, who provide a warm welcome. Their swan stories are like delectable desserts that they share with Gina after dinner one night. Myrna’s lived story touches the heart and brings a tear to the eye. At eighty years old, she is dealing with the loss of her husband Billie and she finds she can only be consoled through painting. But it is Gina’s dilemma that is thoroughly heart-wrenching as a night of erotic body painting leads to a moment of cruel betrayal. And Gina must live with the possibility that she has lost the man she truly loves. A dangerous fall from the seaside cliff follows and leaves the reader wondering if anyone can save Gina or whether Gina can save herself.A thousand Swans is filled with tales drawn from various cultures that have stood the test of time concerning artistic and erotic expressions of love and desire. This novel allows the reader to be swept up in such stories, but the stories are not limited to oral and written expression. As previously mentioned, body painting, an erotic form of art, plays an important role in the novel and speaks of the wild beauty of swans. Furthermore, this contemporary challenge is matched within the novel with the presentation of classic paintings, including the renaissance work of Peter Paul Rubens--a work which inspires the main character to challenge herself. The magnificence of the myths and paintings could overshadow the everyday stories of the characters, but to the contrary, the novel never loses sight of Gina Girard’s difficult journey of self-discovery and how each of her new friends, lovers and situations challenge her to become the artist she is meant to be.