Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Book: Visible City, is a Sparkling Stained-glass Jewel of a Story

Tova Mervis, author of "Visible City" fluidly vacillates like a kaleidoscope between her myriad of characters, painting their true life portraits, and masterfully piecing together their pasts, present fears, needs, and future hopes, like an opalescent John LaFarge stained-glass window. With the change of daylight, the characters morph from the red hot glow of the Noon sun to the cool blue hue of the full moon.

Unfulfilled Nina leers out her Living Room window looking at other people's lives.

Jeremy works late at a job he hates, but in the evenings, scavenges the underground "Ghost Subways" for lost treasures.

Leon, a lonely psychiatrist, longingly gazes at Nina in a coffee shop, as her children run around yelling and screaming despite a sign asking: "Children of All Ages Are Reminded to Use Their Inside Voices."

Claudia spends her time researching John LaFarge stained-bless windows, yet screams out her own window at the construction workers below.

Emma, Claudia's daughter, fears she will end up like her Mother.

Perfect Wendy, whose mother was a screamer, is scared she cannot control her children, and is scared they will discover her secret unhappiness as a 'Stay-at-home-Mom.'

Like an antique stained-glass window, Tova Mervis shows us what happens when marriages gather dust; careers show cracks and fissures, and what transpires when we want to use our outside voices. We can't always be stuck inside the metal constraints of life. Sometimes we need to find out what makes our hearts glow.

This review is posted on line with Real Simple Magazine at: