Saturday, August 16, 2014

Savoring "Night Crossing" . . . a Review

When I planned the schedule of blogs with my intention to post this review Friday, August 15, I had not considered that Night Crossing is a book with its own spirit and purpose. There are questions being asked that will arrest progress through its chapters by capturing thought and time. And so, I come late to write my review.

When you drink wine, do you gulp it down; racing to the bottom of your glass? Do you savor it; holding it in your mouth; flicking it with your tongue; allowing yourself the pleasures of experiencing its texture, the changing flavors as it rolls over your taste buds, splashing against your palate. Night Crossing is a story that, like pleasing wine, deserves to be savored.

Title: Night Crossing
Author: Mary E. Martin
Series: The Trilogy of Remembrance
Publisher: iUniverse (June 20, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1491737158
ISBN-13: 978-1491737156

The Trilogy of Remembrance comes to an inspired and satisfying conclusion in, Night Crossing. Enter our hero and favorite artist, Alexander Wainwright, vision guided into a swirling dream like progression of thought, darkness, light, and dancing rhythms which open windows to the heart and soul of creative experience. He is the student and the observer of life. He journeys, inspired and driven by compulsions and forces he does not understand, meeting guides and antagonists along the way. Each in turn adds to the mysterious patterns being woven around him. Their destinies entwined.  His muse Daphne, faithful narrator Jamie, and friends both new and old will enter your heart and find their way to places that resonate. A new story unfolds, new mysteries are explored as Alex frees his unique inner light and searches for the place love holds in his art. These characters breathe. They hurt and love, like we hurt and love. Their stories, choices, and struggles give us pause because they are stories we recognize as versions of our own.

I love Mary’s writing, which is eloquent and full of human insight. In Night Crossing, as in the previous books of the trilogy, she reveals surprising depths of interest and perception –both spiritual and aesthetic, into the visual, musical and performance arts.  Through her story telling she has the reader pondering many ideas, concepts and truths relating to creativity, spirituality, and life. Her writing illuminates much and yet leaves room for further exploration. I find her work entrancing and provocative, without being pushy. I will miss Alexander and find myself wondering how she might work him into another novel or series now that his trilogy is complete.

Do I recommend Night Crossing? Oh yes, yes indeed, I do.

Synopsis: Magical light suffuses Alexander Wainwright's paintings. But he must find something new. A vision of a golden sphere studded with gems appears before him-the cosmic egg, source of all creativity. Next day, his art dealer shows him an unsigned painting of the very same cosmic egg dedicated to a Parisian pianist, Dumont. Does the cosmic egg exist not just in Alex's imagination but in the real world? That burning question drives Alex to take the ferry-a night crossing- from Portsmouth to Caen and then onto Paris to find the pianist and the artist. On that trip, the elderly Miss Trump, enters Alex's life with myriad mysterious effects. The ferry capsizes. Alex tries to save her and a young mother and her child. Miss Trump drowns but mother and child are safe. When her body is mistakenly cremated, Alex is seized with an inexplicable sense of responsibility and carries the ashes with him to Paris where he simply comes across Dumont playing in a café. The pianist says the painter, Anton, is in St. Petersburg. Still determined to carry the ashes, Alex travels by train to St. Petersburg to find the artist. Stunning revelations await him. Learning far more than imagined, he finally understands the meaning of his vision and the true purpose of carrying the ashes across Europe. But when he returns to London, he may find that he has lost what he cherishes most-Daphne, his love and muse. This tale is about love so strong it transcends life and death. It's about cruelty and compassion, life, art and the magic of creation. All told, it speaks of that yearning within us for what lies beyond.

Mary E. Martin is the author of two trilogies The Osgoode Trilogy set in the corridors of power in the world of the law, and The Trilogy of Remembrance set midst the glitter and shadows of the art world.


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