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Pentimento: A Novel by Rosemary Wildblood

Paperback, 2012, 230pages, very good condition
As its title suggests, this gripping novel is about penetrating beneath the surface to obtain a more detailed picture - not least, of what it means to be a New Zealander in a small, dynamic country that must embrace its many different cultures. The author peels back the layers of the lives of two artists, a musician and the woman who becomes intrigued by their unconventional world. It is a story of love, loss and survival, set against a backdrop of haunting New Zealand landscapes and the cafes, bars and galleries of its most vibrant cities. Cliff and Doyle are studying art in Christchurch when the lovely but elusive Serena models for their life class. Cliff soon tracks her down and claims the prize and Doyle reluctantly concedes defeat. The three make the city their own as they frequent the nightspots and outlying beaches of Christchurch, but life takes a more sinister turn when Serena begins to exhibit disturbing mood swings. Eventually, her behaviour rocks the friendship between the men and leads them to a harrowing loss of innocence. When Rachel meets Cliff, she is still troubled by the death of a younger brother years earlier, and is coming to terms with the more recent loss of her mother. Cliff seems to offer a pleasant diversion until Rachel discovers she is in competition with the continuing shadowy presence of Serena. Becoming fascinated by the life of artists, Rachel makes changes to her own career and her path continues to cross through many twists and turns with those of Cliff and Doyle, until news of a devastating earthquake forces the main characters to take stock of their lives and try to come to terms with the past.

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  • Seller location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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