Thursday, January 22, 2009

Book Review: SKIN DEEP

Poised at the Edge Book Review
Daphne Grab

Matisse Osgood, an urban sophisticate, feels like she's dying a slow and painful death when she is uprooted from Manhattan, and forced to move to rural nowhere Prague, New York. The only thing worse than living Hicksville is the reason that they moved there. Matisse's beloved, artist father is stricken with Parkinson's disease. He is no longer able to create the amazing sculptures that made him famous. In fact, eating a meal, or dressing himself has become a major challenge.
No one in Matisse's family knows how to handle the drastic and truly life-changing situation they are thrown in to. Matisse's mother tries to respond with false cheer, acting as if everything is just fine (when it REALLY isn't.) But her depression is evident in the fact that she hasn't done a painting in months. Matisse's father is withdrawn and impenetrable. He feels like a shadow of his former robust self to Matisse.
Matisse had dumped her life-long best friend, justifying it by finding reasons to shift the blame. Now she's alone in a small town where she can't indulge in indie films, art openings or fine dining. In fact, Prague's idea of a good time is pep rallies and hayrides (no really, hayrides!) How will she ever survive?
Matisse and her father become the subject of some malicious gossip, generated by the most popular girl at Matisse's new high-school. In the midst of all the turmoil Matisse discovers there are a few other kids there that she can actually count, and finally begin to like. There's even one particular farm boy who enlightens Matisse to some of the finer aspects of small town living.
Debut author Daphne Grab writes a stunning first novel, full of heart, forgiveness, and the human experience. Besides being entertaining, this book speaks to families that are suffering from serious illness. The characters are believable and intriguing. All and all, it's one terrific read.

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