Book Review – The Painting

Annie and her mother don’t see eye to eye. When Annie finds a painting of a lonely lighthouse in their home, she is immediately drawn to it–and her mother wishes it would stay banished in the attic. To her, art has no interest, but Annie loves drawing and painting.

When Annie’s mother slips into a coma following a car accident, strange things begin to happen to Annie. She finds herself falling into the painting and meeting Claire, a girl her own age living at the lighthouse. Claire’s mother Maisie is the artist behind the painting, and like Annie, Claire’s relationship with her mother is fraught. Annie thinks she can help them find their way back to each other, and in so doing, help mend her relationship with her own mother.

But who IS Claire? Why can Annie travel through the painting? And can Annie help her mother wake up from her coma?

The Painting is a touching, evocative story with a hint of mystery and suspense to keep readers hooked. ~via Goodreads

The Painting
Charis Cotter
Tundra Books
Published September 19th 2017

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The Painting has been on my shelf for a couple of months and I’m glad I’ve finally had the opportunity to dive in. As for first impressions, the cover art drew me in almost immediately. Also, Charis Cotter’s use of style and fonts throughout the book sets the mood of the story. Fans of Lewis Carrol will especially appreciate the nods to his works of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass throughout this read.

The Painting is one of those books with a concept that was incredibly fascinating but still left me a bit puzzled in a few sections. I must say, I did enjoy the book overall but I am left with a nagging feeling, trying to understand a few things more clearly. For instance, who exactly was Mrs Silver? Perhaps I just missed some of the clues because I am still left wondering.

The way Charis Cotter shared the story of Annie and Claire was clever. Told from both Annie and Claire’s perspectives, the sadness, loneliness, and longing was captured well. Their connection unfolded neatly and their relationship with one another was sweet and authentic.

I especially found use of the paintings as a way for Annie to reach Claire to be the most interesting. The idea that art can transport you into another place isn’t necessarily a new one but is still both a very magical notion and one that shows the author’s love for the medium. Also, the paintings really do come to life in The Painting. As the reader, I was able to feel Maisie’s regret and heartache over little Annie’s accident and the anger she felt towards the dog that little Annie chased. I could see the paintings and the significance in vivid detail.

Admittedly, another small issue I had and where the story felt a bit rough was with Annie’s updates of her mother – it felt inconsistent and odd at times. As an example: moments Magda said things were bad for Annie’s mother in one line, she’d say maybe the same news was actually positive in another. Minor but again, nagging…

The Painting is both haunting and sweet. It was an interesting read, worth curling up with on a dark and stormy night.

I gave The Painting 4/5 stars


*Thank you LibraryThing and Tundra for providing me with a copy of The Painting and in exchange, I have provided my honest feedback.

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