This is a genre-bending book, unlike anything I have ever read. If it hadn’t been selected to be read by my book group, I wouldn’t have read it, and I think that’s one reason why I so often recommend book groups to people. There is great variety out there to read that we’d miss otherwise.
This is a story about an artist, who by painting, creates a portal through which individuals pass through from parallel universes. She’s missing, so the novel is partly a mystery to figure out what is going on, but it is also part fantasy/science fiction, because you are required to suspend your disbelief with its magical realism. Well written and layered with metaphor, this book also qualifies as literature, exploring motherhood, abandonment, loneliness, anxiety, and love. The writer includes all sorts of dives into random info, as well as richly observed detail, which makes reading this a pleasure beyond the truly original story arc. Sum this all up and you have a very unique, bizarre, and ultimately satisfying read.
Our book group had a great discussion about this book last night, and as a special treat, the author was there (pictured below). She was a delight to meet, very intelligent, and with lots of fresh ideas. We all loved her and gave this book five stars.
You might like Self Portrait with Nothing too, but be ready for something complex and completely different. Be patient with it at the beginning; it took me a third of the book to really get into it, but then it took off and hurtled through to the end.
And the ultimate message? Be fully present in the universe you are in, taking nothing for granted. Feel loved and be loving.