Painted From Memories by Barbara Forte Abate

August 27th, 2014 Kimberly Review 62 Comments

27th Aug
Painted From Memories by Barbara Forte Abate
Painted From Memories
by Barbara Forte Abate
Genres: Literary Fiction, Women's fiction
Source: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

She considers telling him the truth—that she isn’t the person he thinks she is—but in the end she doesn’t. To say something is to potentially say everything. And it is simply too late... The emotionally fractured casualty of a hideous childhood tragedy, Catherine has at last found her happy-ever-after in the person of Grayson Barnett, and it is the promise of a freshly polished future that compels her to bury the poisonous trail of her past beneath the purposeful lies and omissions she offers her new husband. But now, with the inherent shame of her traumatic history secreted away and losing hold, Cat finds herself increasingly troubled as Gray falls into an erratic pattern of late night wanderings through the house, painting the bare walls with extravagant murals. And only when the unthinkable happens—a devastating blow which leaves her broken and spiraling—and an unexpected arrival on her doorstep, bearing a cache of impossible revelations—is Cat forced to question whether the man she so desperately loves is in truth a stranger and their beautiful life a gross falsehood constructed upon a foundation of lies.

I am not a fan of the cover, despite the fact that after reading Painted From Memories, I see how it fits. Do not let it distract you because beneath this plain Jane cover lies a beautiful literary fiction. Barbara Forte Abate shares an interesting tale with two quirky, artistic types set in the small rural town of Lost River, Maine. Painted From Memories is a gripping tale with several threads that had me lost within its pages.

Painted from Memories shares a passionate romance between two complicated people who have secrets. Grayson and Catherine (Cat) are both artists and met when she was painting a mural. They share a whirlwind romance and are soon married and traveling to Maine. Here Grayson buys them a dilapidated farmhouse. Cat is happy to escape her past and ever fearful of discovery.  They laugh as pipes burst and showers run ice cold. They share a friendship and relationship that others only dream about and yet these secrets lie between them. As the tale progresses we learn about Cat’s troubled childhood, the death of her parents and the sister who never speaks. Her story is painful and Abate brings her voice to life. Cat does not want the past to interfere with their lives and chooses not to share with Gary. She invents stories about her family, placing them in far off lands. I loved learning about Cat and spending time with her while she worked in the garden and made art from old furniture. She wakes one night to discover Grayson painting a mural, and telling a story using the walls of their home as his canvas. Grayson’s love for Cat is touching and I loved how he interacted with her. He was a bit of a mystery and watching the scenes unfold as he painted was fascinating. Both characters march to their own drum, see the world through rose-colored glasses or perhaps with an artist flair. While I didn’t love them, Abate made me understand and connect.

Painted From Memories was poetic and touching. Abate’s writing brought the characters and surrounding area to life. She uses imaginary to convey the characters emotions and at times, I was in awe of her ability. Secondary characters add a little mystery. Their secrets are slowly revealed and I found myself riveted. I feel as if I am being vague. I keep holding back and that is because  the journey and discovery is part of what makes this powerful and wonderful. I do not want to spoil your ride.

About Barbara Forte Abate

Barbara Forte Abate grew up in Millbrook New York, and currently lives in a creaky old house in Pennsylvania, where she makes up lies, doses them with truth, and titles it fiction. She is long time married to a very fine man, and is the mother of four fabulous children. She is the award winning author of The Secret of Lies, Asleep Without Dreaming, and newly released, Painted From Memories.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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62 Responses to “Painted From Memories by Barbara Forte Abate”

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree, Linda. I have read and loved several novels by this author and her talent is unquestionable but sadly covers sell books. right or wrong, they do.

  1. Trish

    I’m intrigued, it sounds really interesting. I love books that have an artistic theme so I think I’d enjoy this one. Considering the theme though, the cover is woeful. I wouldn’t look twice at it before reading your review. No matter how much it ties in, it’s just bad.

  2. Silvia

    I know we shouldn’t judge a book from its cover but, let’s face it, our eyes end up inevitably there and it’s something that really makes the difference…I’m with Melliane, I would have passed too, but I’m really glad to hear it worked well for you and that the story is poetic and touching. Great review, Kimberly!

    Silvia recently posted: Torrent Review Tour!
    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have read and loved previous works by this author, but for those newly discovering her, yeah this cover hurts.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Rashika. I really liked how quirky the characters were.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Jeann I loved their connection and interaction.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Things are slowly revealed and I love how fleshed out they become.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was well rounded emotionally, but I am a mood reader too 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have read and loved previous novels by this author and that helped me see past cover. Actually I read synopsis first.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Megan, and yes it was a lovely, quirky, heart-felt read

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love mixing them in Braine. I don’t read them often but when I do I enjoy them

    • kimbacaffeinate

      She may have read some of her previous books, she has been published with traditional authors as well and her writing is beautiful. I have read several books and enjoyed them immensely.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Her writing is lovely, she is able to create this 3-d image of the characters and setting. Thanks Kim. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It does tie in to the story, but alas most see only the cover. I have read several books by her and always enjoy them.

  3. Rita

    I might be interested in this one’s story.

    going a bit off topic from this book to generalizations:
    I agree about the cover, and see many books around with covers that look like I made it in Photoshop in 5 minutes. I am an extremely visual person (which spoils my enjoyment of audio books) so if a book has an amateur-looking cover, then most likely my eyes will pass it right by and gravitate to another. I’m not saying all indie or self-pub authors need to hire a professional artist, but they should take the time to polish off their completed works with an attractive cover. Just my opinion and not picking on their stories, only the covers themselves, thanks for the opportunity to speak about this.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree Rita and what you said is sad but true. I have read several works by this author and loved them.

  4. Tanja

    Funny think is that I’d never pick up that book because that cover isn’t really something interesting and I’d never assume that there is passionate romance there. Surprise, surprise. I’m so happy you enjoyed this one. Great review, Kim 🙂

    Tanja recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday (#110)
    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes…sometimes the best discoveries are hidden treasures.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, all of her books evoke questions, conversations and passions Angela.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was Jenea, I loved the old farm house and watching the murals tell a story

  5. Lupdilup

    It sounds like such deep,emotional and reverting story,who’d have known it hides inside that cover. I do listen from time to time to some Literary fiction. To be honest, if I get hooked with in the first few chapter of a story it doesn’t matter to me what genre it is. The trick for me is to get interested in picking it up, and your review might just have done the trick 🙂
    Thanks Kimba!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Well you know me..I will read any genre long as it’s good!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have read and loved prior books by this author and knew how wonderful her writing is.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, oh you crack me up Mary. I wouldn’t want a steady diet of literary fiction or chick-lit for that matter, but I always enjoy them when the mood strikes

  6. Paij Slater

    This sounds great. Although the cover to me is kind of awesome. I makes me think about closing one door and moving on to the next stage in life. 🙂 May not be the meaning, but that was my impression when I saw it.

    Paij Slater recently posted: ROOM BY EMMA DONOGHUE - REVIEW
    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Michelle, it was quite good and I am glad I read it