Friday, January 6, 2012

Crazy Book Tours: The Gilder by Kathryn Kay

Title: The Gilder
Author: Kathryn Kay 
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: January 1, 2012
Source: Crazy Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're an armchair traveler.
  • You like relationship heavy stories.
  • You don't mind reading about tough situations.
What's the Story?:

From "Set against the exquisite backdrop of Florence, Italy, The Gilder is a compelling and beautifully wrought novel of secrets, friendship, betrayal, and the simple choices that change us forever. . .
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."

My Two Cents:

I was very torn about this book. It's a quick read and the story sounded really good from the blurb. I loved that the book took place in Italy. The setting was definitely intriguing. And I really liked the storyline about Marina trying to come to terms with what happened between her and Thomas even though he was no longer around to make ammends for his own mistakes. I think that struggle was really well written and is relatable for a lot of people.

I liked parts of it definitely but didn't like that basically what you see in the blurb is what you get. I think that blurbs should leave a little bit of mystery to the book (that's why we read, no? We're intrigued about the story). I felt like I knew what was going to happen way too often before it happened and because I felt like I knew what was going to happen, it sort of took me out of the world of the book.

I also am not sure that the reactions of the various characters looking at the situation that they were in. I realize that it took a lot for Marina to say what happened between her and Sarah's late husband, Thomas, to Sarah but I felt like Sarah was way too calm about the whole thing. I thought that there could have been more grappling with the idea of what actually happened as it would be more realistic.

I would have also like to know a little bit more about the characters themselves. In the book, we get to see their interactions but not really who they are or why they do what they do. For instance, Marina falls hard for Sarah as a young woman but isn't ready to put a sexual preference label on herself. Fine. That has to be a difficult thing to come to terms with but even after almost 10 years, Marina still won't say if she's bisexual or gay to her friend, who happens to be a lesbian as well as someone who is supposed to be one of Marina's closest confidants. It just was interesting.

Bottom line: Still an okay read.


  1. This sounds like an interesting story and I love books set in Italy but after reading your review I think I will pass on this one. Thanks for the honest, thoughtful review!

  2. Can I just say that I love the idea of gilding as a metaphor? The daily work of putting gold on things to make them shinier than they are to the core. That's a neat premise.

  3. @Sarah P The metaphor itself is great. It just sort of fell flat for me here :/


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