If I'm on fire they dance around it and cook marshmallows. And if I'm ice they simply skate on me in little ballet costumes. ANNE SEXTON, Live
Then I lie on my altar elevated by the eight chemical kisses. What a lay me down this is with two pink; two orange; two green, two white goodnights. ANNE SEXTON, The Addict
For Aidan Hicks
Rachel was woken by a painting or, rather, by the idea of one.
As she drew near the car again she saw Rachel was smoking one of her very occasional cigarettes ... and concentrating on something she was drawing with the special tortoiseshell fountain pen that lived in her handbag.
The engine sounded closer and he remembered he was no longer a virgin and would never be quite as young and naïvely aimless as he had been that afternoon.
From the author of A Perfectly Good Man, the bestselling story of an artist tormented by depression and the toll of creativity.
When troubled artist Rachel Kelly dies she leaves behind an extraordinary body of work – but for her family there is a legacy of secrets and painful revelations.
Rachel exerts a power that outlives her. To her children she is both curse and blessing, as they cope with the inheritance of her passions – and demons. Only their father's gift of stillness can withstand Rachel’s destructive influence and the suspicion that they all came a poor second to her art.
Piecing together the clues of her life – as artist, lover, mother, wife and patient – takes the reader from Cornwall to Canada across a span of forty years. What emerges is a tender story of enduring love, and a portrait of a family coping with the sometimes too dazzling brilliance of a genius.
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When troubled artist Rachel Kelly dies painting obsessively in her attic studio in Penzance, her saintly husband and adult children have more than the usual mess to clear up. She leaves behind an extraordinary and acclaimed body of work - but she also leaves a legacy of secrets and emotional damage that will take months to unravel.… (more)