Juliana is sideswiped by life, dealing with a few hard hitting blows, facing facts, and casting denial to the wind. At first you assume her life is falling apart but as you continue reading, her life is changing course in a very positive direction – always darkest before the storm. A victim of circumstance, issues brought on by her own doing, surrounding herself with poseurs, the reader deduces their opinions by Hunter’s ambiguous tone. The plot is somewhat convoluted which actually adds a spark of fascination. Multitasking the varying issues creates a level of suspense along with a subtle touch of magical realism opens the door of interest. Hunter demonstrates a level of creativity and imagination with a quasi intricate plot tightly threading it all together.
Hunter fails to develop Juliana’s character, I’m uncertain if this was intentional or unintentional, for me it worked well. Juliana is opaque, Hunter provides just enough details forcing the reader to stretch their imagination. You decide if she’s strong or weak, apathetic or feeling, right or wrong, I found her to be rather engaging and I preferred molding her into the heroine or loser I wanted her to be. The ambiguous approach offers Hunter’s artistic side, off beat and I welcome the change from an ordinary read. As the story progresses so does Juliana, once again you deciding if it’s enough or not.
Hunter is detailed, and has a knack exploring emotional issues without predictability. It’s clear Painting Juliana was an arduous effort, a reflection of her drive pushing through such a monstrous undertaking given this her debut novel.
Painting Juliana is a story of forgiving, leaving the past in the past and reinventing yourself when you set yourself free from all that binds you. It’s facing life head on forcing you to examine within yourself. A main protagonist unmistakably outlined allowing the peruser to color her within or outside the lines. Artsy edge engaging the readers attention and involvement, if you’re looking for something delivered in an uncommon manner addressing plausible issues add this to your TBR. Fine example of one door closes, another door opens.
•Published May 20th 2014 by Goldminds Publishing, LLC (first published April 24th 2014)
•Hardcover, 362 pages
•A copy provided in exchange for an honest review