“Across two continents, two sets of mothers and daughters are united by a dark mystery. A Perfect Square is a fine novel about the power of art to heal, and to disturb.” David Whish Wilson, Zero at the Bone.
When pianist Ginny Smith moves back to her mother’s house in Sassafras after the breakup with the degenerate Garth, synaesthetic and eccentric Harriet Brassington-Smythe is beside herself. She contrives an artistic collaboration to lift her daughter’s spirits: an exhibition of paintings and songs. Ginny reluctantly agrees.
While mother and daughter struggle with 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.
“Isobel Blackthorn is a gifted and insightful writer who has penned this slow burning and intellectually demanding literary read.” Paromjit, Goodreads
“The author, like an artist slowly dabbing paint upon a canvas, methodically yet tauntingly brings to life complex, damaged characters, their pasts, their struggles to relate to each other and the paths they are set upon. I strongly recommend it.” Michelle Saftich, author of Port of No Return
“A Perfect Square is a clever, thoughtful literary novel which still manages to have a cracking plot and complex characters. It should appeal to lovers of psychological thrillers too – think artistic Gone Girl.” Kate Braithwaite, author of Charlatan.
“Isobel Blackthorn is a clever author, I very much enjoyed her biting wit.” Lolly K Dandeneau
“Some books haunt you. You rarely know this will happen when you are reading them – the sensation creeps up on you after the last page. With A Perfect Square there was a moment as I read where my heart dropped and I knew this book would stay with me. It is the story of two mother-daughter relationships, one in Australia and one in England. The parallels and connections are unveiled slowly, like a spider’s web slowly but artfully woven. Blackthorn uses words beautifully to create settings and lives so real that I felt I was in the room, a silent and at times uncomfortable observer….A marvellous work.” – Rachel Nightingale, author of Harlequin’s Riddle.
The music accompanying A Perfect Square composed by daughter and pianist Elizabeth Blackthorn is available on iTunes Spotify, and at Bandcamp
Behind the scenes: Author interviews and guest posts
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