Monday, January 6, 2014

"the painted table" by suzanne field

About the book (from Litfuse): A beautiful heirloom ingrained with family memory has become a totem of a life Saffee would rather forget—a childhood disrupted by her mother's mental illness.

Saffee does not want the table. By the time she inherits the object of her mother's obsession, the surface is thick with haphazard layers of paint, and heavy with unsettling memories.

After a childhood spent watching her mother slide steadily into insanity, painting and re-painting the ancient table, Saffee has come to fear that seeds of psychosis may lie dormant within her. But as an adult with a family of her own, Saffee must confront her mother's torment if she wants to defend herself against it.

Traversing four generations over the course of a century, The Painted Table is an epic portrait of inherited memory, proclivity, and guilt. It is a sprawling narrative affirmation that a family artifact—like a family member—can bear the marks of one's entire past . . . as well as intimations of one's redemption.

My take: The Painted Table is a heart-wrenching tale of one woman's descent into mental illness and her daughter's fight for a better life for herself. The description of Saffie's mother Joann's illness is heartbreakingly realistic and is written so vividly that it was almost as if I was watching it play out onscreen. Field wisely focuses on Saffee for most of the novel, as she is much more relatable than Joann, and through her eyes, we see how deeply Joann's mental illness impacted everyone in her family.

I struggled to get through the first 50 or so pages—I think partially because it took a while to get used to the present tense format the novel is written in and partially because it took that long for Saffee to move to center stage. But I am so glad I stuck with it. While difficult to read at times, The Painted Table paints a vivid picture of the power of God to heal and restore.

My rating: 4 stars

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About the author: Suzanne Field, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, has taught English as a Second Language in China, Ukraine, and Hawaii. She has also been a magazine editor and home-school teacher. She and her husband have five children and divide their time between Kansas and Hawaii where she is a tutor and mentor.

Learn more about Suzanne at:

About the giveaway: Suzanne Field is celebrating her novel The Painted Table with a beautiful hand-painted table giveaway!

One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 18th. Winner will be announced January 20th on Thomas Nelson's Facebook Page.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the TNZ Facebook Page on the 20th to see if you won.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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