The Trilogy of Remembrance: Night Crossing by Mary E Martin
|The Trilogy of Remembrance: Night Crossing by Mary E Martin|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The final part of this trilogy set in the London art world does not disappoint and reaches a splendid climax. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 430||Date: June 2014|
We first met Alexander Wainwright in The Drawing Lesson when he'd won the Turner, but lost his muse and feared for his sanity. His rock through that troubling period and the rather more settled time he found in The Fate of Pryde was art dealer Jamie Helmsworth. Jamie's pieced together Wainwright's story and continues to do this in this final part of The Trilogy of Remembrance. If you know London you'll know men like Helmsworth - the quintessential Englishman in his pinstriped suit and carrying his gentlemanly reserve like armour.
But the story's not about Helmsworth - he's simply our narrator. It's primarily about Wainwright, a very different character and an artist to his fingertips. We rejoin him in his studio by the Thames as he's stunned by a vision of a golden egg, or, as he called it, the cosmic egg. Fate, coincidence - call it what you will, would before long propel, compel him to take the night ferry to France in search of the man to whom a painting of the egg has been dedicated. He should have been with Daphne, the woman he now thought of as his muse but was unable to commit to completely as her lover, but suggesting what appeared to be a romantic jaunt to Paris and then letting slip that she was being taken along on a business trip didn't improve the relationship.
Instead he found himself drawn to an elderly woman on the ferry, involved in a serious maritime accident and transporting an urn of ashes across Europe as he searches for an answer to a mystery which is becoming more and more complicated with each passing day. Meanwhile, back in London, his relationship with his arch nemesis and fellow artist Rinaldo has mellowed into, if not exactly a friendship, then a mutual support mechanism. But Rinaldo might just be smitten by a young woman - and sailing a little close to the legal wind.
Mary E Martin has done a brilliant job of developing her cast of characters, not just over the book, but over the trilogy. Wainwright has developed as an artist and matured as a man. Rinaldo has reached a tipping point (we saw it coming a while ago) and Daphne has revised her views on - and expectations of - Wainwright. They all come off the page well. There's an excellent sense of location too - the London is the one I know well and some of the more secluded corners of Paris came to life. Best of all though is the feeling of being allowed a look into the art world and the people who populate it.
I'm sorry to see the end of this trilogy: it's been intriguing and the characters have stayed with me long after I've turned the final page. I'd like to thank the publisher for sending copies to the Bookbag.
You could read this book as a standalone, but you really would be better starting at the beginning.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Trilogy of Remembrance: Night Crossing by Mary E Martin at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Trilogy of Remembrance: Night Crossing by Mary E Martin at Amazon.com.
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