?????????????????????????????Restoration by Elaine D. Walsh

Published September 18th, 2013 by Barks Out Loud

Buy this book at: Amazon / B&N / Books A Million / Book Depository

Synopsis:

When your life is shattered you can live damaged or repair it.

With a signed death warrant and final appeals running out, Tess Olsen anticipates the execution of the man her mother deserted her family for thirteen years ago. Randall Wright s death will expel his disturbing legacy and return her mother to her; it s as simple as that, or so she believes. But Wright robbed her life of more than just her mother and like a splinter slowly and painfully working its way to the surface, those stolen pieces begin emerging.

Working as an art conservator in New York City, Tess keeps an emotional distance from co-workers. She has no close ties since isolating herself during her teen years when the tale of Wright s crimes, trial, and marriage to her mother was published in a Pulitzer Prize winning article. She yearns for the family she had and is unable to accept who they are now.

Tess is dating Ben Elliot, an art critic for the New York Times. The relationship both intrigues and unnerves her. Unlike men she s dated in the past, he is more interested in her than her physical attributes and any sex she can offer. Although drawn to Ben, she is more comfortable with men like Kenyon LeMere, a brazen artist Ben introduces her to who has a reputation for translating his sexual liaisons into art.

Restoration chronicles Tess Olsen s challenge to restore her life, relationships, and dreams back to the promise they held before Randal Wright.

Rating: 4 star

Review:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. This did not affect my opinion of the book, thank you Barks Out Loud!

This book was not long but every word served its purpose perfectly. This little tome follows Tess. Her mother married a serial killer when she was a young girl. She used to be a painter, but she isn’t anymore because she feels that her new stepfather has ruined her gift. She doesn’t speak to her mother and she avoids closeness at all costs. Randall is about to be executed and Tess is overjoyed that she can finally move on with her life. Tess is a very damaged woman who is clearly living in the past, this is obvious to the reader but not to Tess.

I was not exactly sure what to expect when I started this book. Yes, I had read the synopsis but I still didn’t know just what kind of story I was getting into.It was an emotional ride. My heart broke for Tess. I cried for her. I wanted to help her. I hurt for her and wanted to protect the little girl that she used to be. I followed her journey to figuring out some of her issues and felt the pain right along with her.

This story though is not about Tess and her acceptance that Randall’s execution won’t fix her life. It’s about her and her relationship with her mother. It was about Tess realizing that her mother was much more responsible for ruining her childhood than Randall. Because her mother consciously made the choice to let evil into her children’s lives and did nothing to stop it. The book is about realizing the part that her mother played in all of the things she blamed Randall for. I could sympathize with Tess on this front. We don’t want to believe that our parents are flawed and make mistakes, and sometimes they choose evil over their children. It can be a very painful thing to finally make that leap in your mind. But it is incredibly freeing once you finally get there.

The biggest complaint I had about this book was the Francesca storyline. While I liked Francesca as a character, I didn’t like what the author did with her story. I realize that they were trying to parallel Tess and her mother with this one, but I just didn’t get it. In fact I thought that the resolution to that story was a bit selfish on Tess’ part and Francesca’s part. So I just didn’t get it, nor did I agree with how it was handled. But this small complaint aside, this was a great read.

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