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Adult Book of the Month
From an Exhibition by Patrick Gale
Rachel Kelly, a troubled pregnant young woman, is rescued by mild-manned Quaker Anthony Middleton, and brought to live at his family home in Penzance. Here she has four children and a series of breakdowns while becoming a critically aclaimed abstract artist. Rachel is bipolar causing her to be both charming and loveable as well as terrible to those around her. When Rachel dies while painting obsessively in her attic studio, she leaves behind an extraordinary body of new work. She also leaves a legacy of secrets and emotional damage from which her family may never recover.
Gale expertly explores the relationship between mental illness and creativity and the torment that mental illness can cause the sufferer and those around them.
What emerges is a story of enduring love, and of a family which weathers tragedy, mental illness and the intolerable strain of living with genius.
‘This is an uplifting, immensely empathetic novel, and Gale's prose, as ever, is as clear and bright as the Cornish light.’ Rachel Hore, The Guardian
'A warm, well-written novel about creativity and the perils of living with the creative spirit.' Times Literary Supplement
Patrick Gale was born in 1962 on the Isle of Wight. He now lives in Cornwall where he writes full time.
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