This fall, members of the Vise Library are going back to school by participating in a Fall Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!
The book for our Exploratory Studies class is The Black Velvet Coat by Jill G Hall.
About the book:
Twenty-eight-year-old struggling San Francisco artist Anne McFarland is determined to get a one-woman show, even though no one, including herself, believes she can do it. But when she buys a coat at a thrift shop with a key in its pocket, strange, even magical, occurrences begin to unfold, and she is inspired to create her best work ever. Fifty years earlier, it’s 1963, and the coat’s original owner, young heiress Sylvia Van Dam, is headed toward a disastrous marriage with a scoundrel. In a split-second reaction she does the unimaginable, which propels her on a trip of self-discovery to nature-filled Northern Arizona. When Anne and Sylvia’s lives intersect, they are both forced to face their fears―and, in the process, realize their true potential.
The Black Velvet Coat is a story of struggles and overcoming those struggles. There is a neat way the coat that connects artist Anne (the present) with heiress Slyvia (the past). Anne is struggling big time. She is feeling like a failure and having a hard time making ends meet. Anne finds a coat that changes her life. Anne tries to uncover the secret of Sylvia's life and what happened to Sylvia. Even though these women seem like complete opposites of each other, you realize they are actually quite similar in some aspects. I loved the connection between these two women and their stories. It can be difficult to pull off multiple time periods, but this book does this flawlessly. The Black Velvet Coat offers a glimpse into underlying issues through each woman's story. This book was so hard to put down and I think we can expect big things from debut author Jill Hall.
About the author:
Jill G Hall's first novel, The Black Velvet Coat, will be released in October. She facilitates creativity groups for artists of all types and curates art shows at Inspirations Gallery, NTC at Liberty Station. Her poems have been published in A Year in Ink, City Works Press, Serving House Journal, and The Avocet. She resides in San Diego with her husband, Jerry and beagle-bassett, Lucy.