The background to this book is fascinating and I was intrigued by the presence of a well known painter, Salvador Dali and one his controversial pieces of art – Christ of Saint John of the Cross. A painting I knew nothing about, which forced me to look it up and to understand the background to it’s creation and subsequently it’s arrival in a Glasgow art gallery in the 1950s.
All of this is subsequently weaved into the book.
Ginny and Meredith, sisters have only just found each other when their father dies and Ginny discovers she has a half sister.
Meredith is traumatised by past experiences and is in an asylum. Ginny becomes her rescuer and with an ulterior motive vows to heal Meredith. This is what leads them to Spain, to Catalonia, where Meredith’s passion for art, is the path that Ginny sees can heal her.
With a famous artist in the area, it seems that Meredith can indulge in this passion. Ginny has her head turned by another passion and when these collide with the politics of the time and the execution of this famous painting, the book takes a somewhat nasty turn.
I wanted to like this book, but I found it descend into a bit of a muddle and mess but it had these brilliantly handled passages of prose which worked so well, especially the affects of the asylum on Meredith. For me the rest of it did not fit together so well and I found myself skim reading just so I could see how it concluded.
I learnt a lot despite not enjoying the plot and for that I am grateful, but I was left disappointed overall.
Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
The Diver and the Lover is out now.