#ASMSG #BookReview: The Art of Peeling an Orange #MondayBlogs

Rainbow Awards finalist. Also nominated for Lambda and Golden Crown Awards 2015. ” . . . a beautiful page turner that is also . . . an extended poem. And a love poem at that. Vividly written, suspenseful, darkly humorous” (Jeff York, The Examiner)
When Carly Rosen is jilted on the eve of her wedding, she embarks on a startling journey of self-discovery. This gender-bending risqué retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in sizzling West Hollywood, echoes the ancient story of the lovers in the Underworld.
What do you do when your lover has eloped with another woman on the eve of your wedding? The other woman is a famous beauty named Anna Garibaldi, and you die inside. To add insult to injury, the one who has abandoned you dies unexpectedly. Where do you go from there for solace, for justice? If you are Carly Rosen, a portrait artist with huge imagination, you use your art to charm your way into the life and inner circle of the alluring Anna Garibaldi, whose seductive and secretive underworld is nothing you could have expected! You are doomed and you are blessed, and you don’t know which you prefer.
Victoria Avilan
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Book Review
The Art of Peeling an Orange“, by Victoria Avilan, is an extraordinary, genre-defying novel by a very promising and evidently talented author. Victoria, as an author, has taken a very patient approach to writing this novel, working on it over the course of a lifetime, two decades, before finally giving it her approval. In this sense, she has shown the characteristic that all great authors, artists, and musicians possess, namely, her unquenchable drive for perfection is fully on display.

The plot is self-contained in this fundamental question: What do you do when the love of your life has eloped with another woman on the eve of yourwedding? If we try to answer that question, we realize no answer can possible be satisfactory. It is unthinkable, on the one hand, on the other, quite courageous. Which way do you see this? Most importantly, how doesyour life go on, when “your life” has ended before it began? As we grapple with that question, we must also consider the post “breakup/betrayal/abandonment” development: After he dies you get a message letting you know you were always his true love…

Overall, the clever plot line is creative, ingenious, inventive, and highly susceptible to interpretation. The reader comes to the reading of the story, bringing our own life story, perspectives, values and viewpoints. We must take sides, actively, if we are to truly experience the richness and depth of the story. We are reading ourselves, essentially. Therefore, when the protagonist must deal with her situation, we see new possibilities for our own viewpoints, and whether or not we applaud the surprising turn the story takes, we have been entertained, challenged, and stretched, both emotionally and psychologically. We are alive to our own reality, and our reading, consequently, has been well worth the time we invested. Highly recommended.

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About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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