Thursday, April 13, 2023

Painting Through the Dark by Gemma Whelan -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


Thank you for joining me here on Book Beginnings on Fridays to share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week. If you want, you can share from a book that caught your fancy, even if you are not reading it right now. 

A scraping of tires on stones woke her.
-- from the Prologue (June 20, 1982) to Painting Through the Dark by Gemma Whelan.
The surge of passengers propelled Ashling through the tunnel into the expanse of the San Francisco airport.
-- from the first chapter, San Francisco (May 31, 1982).

Gemma Whelan is an Irish-born author, director, screenwriter, and educator. Her new novel, Painting Through the Dark, is the story of a Ashling O'Leary, a young woman who leaves Ireland for San Francisco, determined to banish her demons and make a new life for herself as an artist.

The snappy dialog and vivid scenes propel this compelling story. I look forward to reading it straight through!

Fleeing from the emotional shackles of her family in Ireland and the convent where she was training to be a nun, the feisty 21-year-old Ashling O'Leary arrives in San Francisco in 1982 with a backpack, a judo outfit, her artist's portfolio, a three-month visa, and a determination to find a way to speak up about the abuse of girls and women in Catholic Ireland. As she becomes embroiled in a whirlwind of love, art, and deception, Ashling learns that her success as an artist and a human being depends on dealing with the ghosts of her past and speaking out on behalf of others.


Please add the link to your Book Beginning post in the linky box below. Use the hashtag #bookbeginnings if you share on social media, so we can find each other.

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Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.


From Painting Through the Dark:
The supposedly holy none had told her that her words were sacrilegious, that she should look to her vows, and bow to the greater authority of her superiors. That night Ashling packed her bags and left the convent forever.

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