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Portrait of a Lover Reviewed By Sandra Shwayder Sanchez of Bookpleasures.com
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Sandra Shwayder Sanchez

Reviewer Sandra Shwayder Sanchez: Sandra is a retired attorney and co-founder of a small non-profit publishing collective: The Wessex Collective with whom she has published two short fiction collections (A Mile in These Shoes and Three Novellas) and one novel, Stillbird.

Her most recent novel, The Secret of A Long Journey is soon to be released by Floricanto Press in April 2012 and her first novel, The Nun, originally published by Plain View Press in 1992 is being  reissued in a 2nd Edition with additional material by PVP in March 2012.


 
By Sandra Shwayder Sanchez
Published on March 3, 2012
 

Author: John Wheatcroft

Publisher: Inverted A Press

ISBN: 9781618790002


Follow Here To Purchase The Portrait of a Lover

Author: John Wheatcroft

Publisher: Inverted A Press

ISBN: 9781618790002

 

I’ve read enough of Jack Wheatcroft’s work to expect the highest standard in literature and his latest novel, Portrait of A Lover definitely delivers. This author is a poet and a dramatist as well as a story teller and the insights and skills he has developed for each of these kinds of literature serve him well in all of them. His astute psychological insights make the primary character seem as real as people we’ve known a long time. And the subsidiary characters seen through her eyes are every bit as real to us. I would guess that the author knows every detail of the entire background of every one of them, even those with the briefest sojourn in these pages. The language is poetic and evokes the settings so perfectly we can see, hear and smell the places he takes us. He also incorporates his love and knowledge of art, music  and nature, as well as poetry to enhance the already rich texture of his writing, and the life of Sarah Hevers.  This ability to enter fully into the heart, mind, soul and environment of his characters and to take us there with him, is a hallmark of Jack Wheatcroft’s work. A taste:

         “Against the syncopated slapping of water from the fountain, she heard the mewing of pigeons, the chirping of sparrows, the moaning of a mourning dove, then the sudden aria of a cardinal.  So fully alive were her senses that she could even hear the claws of a red squirrel scratching on the shaggy trunk of the sycamore tree across the walk.  As she inhaled the mingle of the perfume of lilac and the fragrance of fresh cut grass, she tasted an invisible cloud of sweetness.” (p.174)  and so do we the readers taste that invisible cloud of sweetness even as our hearts break for Sarah.

In less than 200 pages of perfectly weighted and rhythmically measured phrases, he allows us to live alongside Sarah, a life deeply felt, lonliness transcended, and when we reach the end of her saga we feel privileged to have been allowed to love this beautiful strong soul.  I know that in the future whenever I cross the concrete pathways of city parks, admiring the fall foliage in Washington Square or Prospect Park I’ll feel her ghost by my side, maybe even hear her whisper snippets of Shakespeare or that phrase that gets her through her life:  “so be it”

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