Today It’s a pleasure to help Odyssey Books celebrate 10 years as an Australian publisher. You and I are celebrating with them.
Odyssey Books – Where books are an adventure
It’s their birthday, and they have a gift for you – “A Perfect Square” by Isobel Blackthorn – an unusual, dark mystery packed with intrigue – will be $0.99/£0.99 on July 14th, 2019.
Drop by odysseybooks.com.au to have a look at all the great books they have to offer.
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Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of original fiction across a range of genres, including psychological thrillers, gripping mysteries, captivating travel fiction and hilarious dark satire.
Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism for her ground-breaking study of the texts of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Her engagement with Alice Bailey’s life and works has culminated in the biographical novel, The Unlikely Occultist.
Isobel carries a lifelong passion for the Canary Islands, Spain, her former home. Many of her novels are set on the islands, including The Drago Tree, which was released in 2015 and is now in Spanish translation, Clarissa’s Warning and A Matter of Latitude. These novels are setting rich and fall into the broad genre of travel fiction, and the novels are as much stories about the islands themselves as they are straight-ahead entertainment.
Isobel has led a rich and interesting life and her stories are as diverse as her experiences, the highs and lows, and the dramas. Some of her writing is dark, like the psychological thriller, Twerk, which is based on six years of research and first-hand accounts of dancers working in what are euphemistically called gentlemen’s clubs.
A life-long campaigner for social justice, Isobel has written, protested and leant her weight to a range of issues including family violence. A Londoner originally, Isobel currently lives near Melbourne, Australia.
About the book
When pianist Ginny Smith moves back to her mother’s house in Sassafras after her breakup with the degenerate Garth, synaesthetic and eccentric artist Harriet Brassington-Smythe contrives a creative collaboration to lift her daughter’s spirits: an exhibition of paintings and songs.
Mother and daughter struggle to agree on the elements of the collaborative effort, and as Ginny tries to prise the truth of her father’s disappearance from a tight-lipped Harriet, both are launched into their own inner worlds of dreams, speculations and remembering.
Meanwhile, another mother and artist, Judith, alone in a house on the moors, reflects on her own troubled past and that of her wayward daughter, Madeleine.
Set amid the fern glades and towering forests of the Dandenong ranges east of Melbourne, and on England’s Devon moors, A Perfect Square is a work of remarkable depth and insight.
“Similar to Kandinsky’s brush that flawlessly moves from concrete to abstract, and from material to spiritual, A Perfect Square delicately blends family romance, art history, esoteric theories, and human drama as it traces the main protagonist’s search for her father that imperceptibly becomes the search for wisdom and transcendence.” Vladimir Golstein, Professor of Russian literature, Browns University, NY.
I have read A Matter of Latitude by Blackthorn, which is a story about conservation and land corruption. A political and criminal excursion into corruption on a flesh eating level. Greed eating away at society.
This story however is completely different. It’s actually quite clever how the author melds art, science, maths, philosophy and perhaps even spirituality together to create an intriguing read.
It’s about the often complex relationships we have with those closest to us – in this case mothers and daughters. To be fair those are some of the most complicated relationships and always worth an examination.
Multiple relationships take place and a correlation is drawn between the relationships between the mothers and their daughters, although I admit I was more invested in Harriet and Ginny
I think it is the kind of story that keeps on giving. I can see myself coming back to it after reflection or reading it again to discover the finer nuances of the story.
It dives into what art and creativity can mean to each individual and the power of it. Creation equals a freedom and inner peace some can tap into.
It’s literary fiction with a strong artistic and musical vibe. A drawing of conclusions and analysing of perceptions to discover the answers. I found the mathematical integer side of it all quite fascinating, perhaps because Blackthorn used art and music as opposed to unrelatable equations.