By Jim Read
When a painter struggles to sell his work, with his career waning, he chooses to paint nudes. Jim Read’s THE MOLLYBUSH NUDE grasps at ideas we all ask ourselves: how did life get this way?
Bill Burnon, a sixty-three-year-old landscape painter, and Marion Barkley, a fifty-nine-year-old diner owner are separated by six hundred kilometres of highway. Nevertheless, they are as close as the wind on a spider’s web. Bill and Marion have loved each other passionately since they were seventeen and thirteen, but only in a limited measure: always a summer, a modest stretch of some months, shorter or longer depending on their unfailing ability to irritate the heck out of each other.
When Bill’s gallery manager suggests painting nudes to give his career a much-needed boost, he goes with it. He plans to paint a series of nudes. Deeply, Bill wants to paint Marion, but when he approaches her about the notion, she rebuffs him — her rejection forces him to find another model.
Turmoil and jealousy haunt their love when Bill selects Libby for his paintings. She’s younger. She’s mysterious. She’s troubled. A friendship develops between Bill and Libby as Bill wrestles with his new artistic endeavour.
What happens next, nobody in Mollybush could’ve expected.
I have known this man for almost 60 years and there is one truth I have always accepted: he tells a good story!
His book will be available November 27 at:
Other countries may have it as well.
You can read a selection of Jim’s archived published short stories by visiting his blog at http://www.jimread.ca.