Tuesday 26 June 2012

Review - Pictures at an Exhibition by Camilla McPherson

Pictures at an Exhibition

My 4 **** review

A collection of wartime letters link the two main protagonists in this story.
In the present day, Claire is grieving following a tragedy which creates marital disharmony. Whilst in the 1940's Daisy Milton writes letters to her cousin Elizabeth, to tell her about life in wartime London, and about the paintings she loves to view every month in the National gallery. When Claire gains access to Daisy's letters,she becomes immersed in the past, and without realising gains hope for the future. The story gets off to a rather slow start, and at first it seems like nothing is happening, but gradually the story evolves into a nicely written dual time narrative.

I loved the idea of a painting a month and felt that this added extra interest to the story, particularly with the addition of QR codes at the start of each chapter, so that those with smart phones could use the QR app to view the paintings.

Noli Me Tangere by Titian is one of the first paintings featured in the story, and is so beautifully described, that even without the picture in front of you, you can visualise the scene between the risen Christ and Mary Magdalene.

In many ways  Pictures at an Exhibition reminded me of books by Margaret Mayhew, Elizabeth Edmondson,Margaret James.

This is Camilla Macpherson's debut novel published in paperback by Arrow (26 April 2012). I enjoyed reading it, and look forward to more of her books in the future.

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