Wow, was this ever a humdinger of a sequel in the “Heirloom Secrets” series! “Paint and Nectar” is the second book I’ve read by the incredibly talented Ashley Clark, (the first was “The Dress Shop on King Street”) and it completely blew me away. This author manages to create poetry out of prose, and inspire readers with the themes of hope found in beauty, and the importance of preserving the past even as we move forward in the present.
From the opening pages, where two young women hide a precious heirloom to protect it from falling into the wrong hands, I knew this was a book that would be difficult to put down. And I was correct. But it is also so much more than just a gripping drama interwoven through time, between multiple generations of characters… it is a poignant tale of loves lost and found. It reveals beauty in sorrow, and hope in tragedy. It showcases the heights of the human spirit, and also the ugly depths to which it can fall. It reminds us to cherish the past, but to live in the moment. It challenges us to ask ourselves, what would we do for a loved one in dire straits, and how easily could we forgive wrongdoing that changed the course of our lives?
There are so many quotable paragraphs found in this book, but I wanted to share one with you that especially spoke to my heart. Two characters are talking about why an artist includes bluebirds in her paintings, and this was her reply: “Beauty arrests our attention to look upward. It reminds us that there are things in life, such as love and the divine, that we long for so ardently we know – even if we only know it for a fleeting moment – that our yearnings are far deeper than our eyes can see. And that’s what faith is, I think.”
I cannot recommend “Paint and Nectar” highly enough. It is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. I do recommend reading “The Dress Shop on King Street” first, because this will allow you to connect the clues and see what a fascinating tapestry ties these stories together… But that’s all I will say – I leave the rest to you, as a delightful uncovering of poetry disguised as prose, and beautiful treasures of secrets waiting to be told!
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”