Source: From publisher for review
Moving from Paris to Italy to North America, a sensuous, heartbreaking novel about art, beauty, star-crossed lovers, and the choices that define our lives, from the award winning author of Summer Gone
A young man arrives in Paris in 1968, where a series of unlikely events lead him to a tiny village in Italy—and to the great love of his life. A marble merchant meets a couple on their honeymoon, introducing them to the sensual beauty of Carrara. An Italian woman travels to Canada on an odyssey to find the father she never knew. A terrible accident in a marble quarry changes the course of a young boy’s life and, ultimately, sets in motion each of these stories, which David Macfarlane masterfully chisels into a magnificent whole.
Oliver Hughson falls in love with wild, bohemian Anna over the course of one glorious summer in Italy. Bound by a sense of responsibility to his adoptive parents, he leaves her and returns home—an act he will regret for the rest of his life. Through luck or fate, Oliver had found the woman with whom he was meant to be. And now he must try to find his way back to her.
Narrated by the daughter Oliver never knew he had, The Figures of Beauty is a love story of mythic proportions that reminds us of the powerful bond that can connect two people indelibly across oceans and time.My thoughts:
The book is centered around sculpture, particularly marble sculpture. You travel through different time periods all which interconnect in some way through marble. The lush language puts you in Italy where most of the book takes place. In any time period, you can really travel with this author's words.
The story mostly follows Oliver, his doomed love story and his daughter. There are also references to artists, in particular Michelangelo as well as Anna (Oliver's lover and his daughter's mother) a present day non-figurative sculpture artist. The ventures back in time especially the ones in the 40s were intriguing but the time shifts just didn't come together for me. Yes, I did see a connection, but as an observer it didn't connect to me personally. It may be due to shifting constantly through time or that I never developed a connection to Oliver and his daughter. I think that if a book was made more about the past and it was constant, I think I would have enjoyed this book much more.
I give this book 2 1/2 stars. It is beautiful in the descriptions of the places, it has some interesting secondary characters, but I just didn't quite connect to much in this book. I would pick up a book by this author because of the beautiful writing, but this one didn't quite come together for me in the end.