The Painted Room

The Painted Room

Tina Mikals

Fantasy

If 15-year-old May Taylor isn't careful she's going to turn into her mother: a woman with an icicle tongue, migraines and a fondness for gin and tonic. Francis Carlisle is a bumbling Victorian painter trapped for over a century in his own work. Together with May’s best friend, Sheila, they travel in a transcendent world through the paintings on the walls of an art dealer's living room. 15+On the rocky coast of Maine, railroad tycoon and painter, Francis Carlisle, disappears on a stormy night in 1887 shortly after the death of his wife. Two young women discover him over a century later trapped in his own painting. Even after the urging of her friend, hard-hearted May Taylor has no desire to help Carlisle out of his private purgatory. She only wants to get back home, back to the familiar and predictable world where she is overshadowed by her stellar brother, largely ignored by her parents, and where she can fade back into obscurity and return to her previous dull existence. In true Victorian male fashion, Carlisle insists on helping them, however, and May laments that there will be no getting rid of the bumbling man. After the girls discover a doorway into another painting, the three of them begin a journey through the painted world on the walls of an art dealer's living room. There in the artwork, they meet pirates, a deceptive goddess, and ogres from the past. When Carlisle proves that he is more useful than he appears (and perhaps just a little smarter than he looks), May decides she can use him after all, even if that means hiding the fact that he may never make it to a painting of his young and beautiful wife. Or is that really why she is keeping him around? A lighthearted read for a snowy afternoon; it is ultimately about finding home, which is to say--one's true self.
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