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The Gilder by Kathryn Kay
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The Gilder

by Kathryn Kay

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I received this book free from Kensington publishers. The book is scheduled for release in January 2012.
The author Kathryn Kay spent five years living in Florence Italy and it shows in this book. She describes so clearly the streets, houses, churches and cemeteries that you feel as if you are actually there. In this book we are taken back to when Marina was 22, young impressionable and wanting more than anything to study and improve her gilding under master artist. We get to see how her time and experiences in Italy shaped her into the woman she is today. We see her lessons in friendship, betrayal, forgiveness and love.

In Marina Nesmith's skilled hands, even the most tarnished picture frame or objet d'art can be made perfect once again. Her life, too, seems flawless, at least on the surface. But more and more, Marina is conscious of what she lacks--someone to share her joys and sorrows with, confidence in the decisions she's made, and the courage to tell her teenage daughter, Zoe, the truth about her father.

Then Marina is invited to return to Florence, where she lived years before while learning her trade as a gilder. In those heady days, she wandered the city's picturesque streets, marveling at the masterpieces in the Duomo and the Pitti Palace. In the church of Santa Croce, she met Thomas, an American photographer who, along with his wife Sarah, introduced Marina to a thrilling, bohemian world of art and beauty. Through them, she also learned about love, lies, and the way one mistake can multiply into many. Now, as her past and present collide, Marina will finally have to move beyond the intricate veneer she's crafted around herself, and find the life that she--and Zoe--have been looking for. ( )
  oldriverbooks | Mar 2, 2015 |
The Gilder by Kathryn Kay
craftsman who works with gold and silver to artistically cover an object as in the gold leaf process.
This book is about such a gilder in Florence. She left the US to go study abroad and sinks herself in deep in Florence. She has studied the museums, cathedrals, etc and runs into a photographer and his wife and meets up with them often. They help her not only get an apartment but a job in the field so she can learn. She does a lot of different jobs also and loves where she lives and where she is learning the trade.
Goes from season to season and all the changes that take place in her work and in her life.
The cover captured my attention first: flower covered vines attached to the outside of a house. Shuttered windows in red, just very striking.
Title also grabbed my attention as I've always wondered if i could ever be a gilder. I know I have the patience for it and some of my work alongside a printer is some of the same tedious work, in a way.
Also love the setting of Florence, love that a book can describe a place so in detail I feel as if I am there also.
The book goes from one time frame to another. First is when Marina is actually in Florence, learning the gild process.
The other is when her daughter is growing up, age 15 and is wondering who her father is. What her mom has told her previously just isn't making it. She wants to go to Florence and see the places her mom has always talked about.
Like physical cover of this book also as it has flaps on front (telling about the story) and back (about the author)
sides where you can take them and use them as a book marker. ( )
  jbarr5 | Jul 25, 2013 |
Reviewed by: Robin
Book provided by: Publisher
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

Ever have one of those moments when you think it would be easier on everyone to make up a story to glamorize your life. In this beautiful yet emotional story by Kathryn Kay about a Gilder we find that eventually the past does catch up with the present.

Marina Nesmith had a knack of taking picture frames and art and doing what is called gilding to take the tarnish away and making them shine and shimmer once again.

In Florence, Marina learned the craft of a gilder. It was in the 70’s and life was different. She met some Americans that had been living the bohemian lifestyle. They became friends and forged a relationship of sorts. Marina had a small fling with Thomas but really found her attracted to Sarah, which to Marina was a rather scary thing. Because of the infidelity with a married man Marina found herself pregnant.

Zoe, Marina’s daughter is now 15 and wants to know about her father. What is Marina to do? All these years she has been living a lie. Marina has been telling lies to cover up the past which has now caught up to her. Marina has to make a choice now to give up the façade she has been living so that she is able to give her daughter the one thing she wants; the truth. And in order to do that Marina must face the past.

So we travel back to where it all began Italy. Facing the past is never easy.

I liked the concept of the story. How the secrets, lies, friendships, betrayals and choices we make always have a way of coming back to force us to be truthful with ourselves. We all know that with the choices that we make, they have a way of affecting not only our lives but those around us also.

As Marina finds sometimes it really is simple. We sometimes just want someone to share it all with. Someone to share life with, the good and bad… It can be as simple as finding the confidence to tell the truth about the past. In this case your daughter about her father.

I found this to be an eye opening story that hit some spots in my own life. Ms. Kay brought out the vulnerability of strong women. She showed that friendships are complex and that families protect. I especially loved the display of forgiveness within the family it was sweet and tender, showing that healing is possible.

Ms. Kay has a strong sense of descriptive prowess that whether you have been to Italy or not makes you wants to go. There was a sympathetic realism to the story with a little bit a cluelessness which helped in making it more real.

A feel good story that shows how choices we make affects everyone and not just us. Makes you think. ( )
  RtB | Jan 17, 2013 |
As a young woman, Marina Nesmith traveled to Florence to study gilding. She immersed herself in the beauty of the city and its culture. It’s there that she meets a photographer named Thomas and his wife Sarah. The close relationship that forms between them is complex, and Marina is especially confused by her feeling toward Sarah. One day a rash mistake changes Marina’s life forever. Instead of hurting Sarah with the truth, Marina flies back to the United States, where she builds lie upon lie to cover up what she has done. It’s not until almost 16 years later that she returns to Florence to finally face the truth.

The story is told in two parts: one when Marina is 23, and one when she has a 15-year old daughter. I was so absorbed in this story, I read it in one day. It’s obvious that her daughter Zoe is the most important thing in Marina’s life, and the lies she created were meant to protect her. But at what cost? This book was an emotional read, and it made me wonder how Marina’s life would have been different if she’d just been honest with Sarah and Thomas from the beginning.

Not only did I become invested in the lives of the characters, but I was drawn in by the rich descriptions of Florence also. The city sounds spectacular, and since I’m not a traveler, reading this book may be as close to Florence as I get. The Gilder is a poignant story about strong women, friendship, betrayal and forgiveness. I would recommend this book to fans of women’s fiction/contemporary fiction.

Source: Copy provided by Crazy Book Tours ( )
  bookofsecrets | Sep 10, 2012 |
As a young adult Marina goes to Florence to further her art of gilding, hoping to learn from a master in a place where the art was created and perfected. Living in Florence she meets and befriends Sarah and Thomas who become her foster family and yet she also fosters deeper feelings toward Sarah, feelings that are unsettling. Those feelings are abruptly forgotten about when Marina’s confusing actions and the results of those actions send her scurrying out of Florence and away from her newfound life and friends as fast as a plane will carry her. Sixteen years later, her life built on lies, deceit and denials is starting to unravel when her daughter Zoe starts asking questions and the lies start sticking in her throat. She’s returning to Florence to speak at a conference and while she’s there she vows to make right what had become so wrong. In an act of life mimicking art she sees that the hurt to relationships is just as deep as the damage to a piece of artwork that needs repairing and the fix is just as fragile as the gilt she uses to finish the process. In confessing to past wrongs she is learning more about her self and perhaps opening feelings that were once locked deeply away and perhaps resolution will result in reparations.
Kathryn Kay brings us a poignant and beautiful look at Florence through the eyes of someone innocent and fresh who slowly becomes cynical as a result of life. Her plot is imaginative and unique. Her narrative is a mix of the prose spoke in Italy to the slang spoke in the US with dialogue that will let you see the Arno flowing and the flowers growing on the banks, that will let you smell the cafés wares and feel the salt spray on your face and imagine the thinness of the gold gilt and the fluidity of applying it. Her characters are all memorable and some are confusing. Her protagonist Marina grows throughout the novel and yet never really matures until the end where the author literally gives her readers a front row seat of Marina learning to trust, hope and live again without the debilitating fear it used to cause. This is definitely an adult read although the adult scenes are masked enough to allow a younger audience admittance.
This is more than women’s fiction, but that’s the best genre to place it in, it’s a journey to Europe it’s of life and of loss and it’s about putting the important things up front and deal with them. ( )
  dhaupt | Dec 29, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0758263228, Paperback)

Art restorer Marina Nesmith's life seems flawless, at least on the surface. But more and more, Marina is conscious of what she lacks - most especially, the courage to tell her teenage daughter, Zoe, the truth about her father. Then Marina is invited to return to Florence, where she learned her trade as a gilder years ago. In those heady days, she wandered the city's picturesque streets and struck up a friendship with Thomas, an American photographer. He and his wife, Sarah, introduced Marina to a thrilling, bohemian world of art and beauty. Through them, she also learned about love, lies, and the way one mistake can multiply into many. Now, as past and present collide, Marina must move beyond the intricate veneer she's crafted around herself and find the life that she - and Zoe - have been looking for...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:00 -0400)

"Art restorer Marina Nesmith's life seems flawless, at least on the surface. But more and more, Marina is conscious of what she lacks--most especially, the courage to tell her teenage daughter, Zoe, the truth about her father. Then Marina is invited to return to Florence, where she learned her trade as a gilder years ago. In those heady days, she wandered the city's picturesque streets and struck up a friendship with Thomas, an American photographer. He and his wife, Sarah, introduced Marina to a thrilling, bohemian world of art and beauty. Through them, she also learned about love, lies, and the way one mistake can multiply into many. Now, as past and present collide, Marina must move beyond the intricate veneer she's crafted around herself and find the life that she--and Zoe--have been looking for"--… (more)

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