Saturday, May 27, 2017

Torn Canvas, by Donna K. Weaver

Emerald Arch Publishing, May 2014

This is a fascinating look at a man with a painful past--both recent past and further past.

Jori Virtanen, twenty-four-year-old model, has had a life-changing experience: While on a cruise with new friends, he and those friends are captured by pirates. Jori, used to being the handsome, superficial model making no commitments, is a leader in overcoming the pirates.

In the process, his perfect face is slashed open, and he faces months of reconstructive surgery with no expectation that he can ever return to modeling. He needs to set a new course in life. What he decides to do is pursue the art that has been relegated to hobby status in the interest of making money from his own looks.

Jori has set out on a journey of self-discovery and reinvention. In the process, he has to confront both the painful experiences that led him to live his home in Finland at eighteen, and his own shallow, manipulative behavior since then.

Weaver makes it easy for us to connect with Jori and root for him, as well as many of the people around him--his friends and fellow survivors from the cruise; Anna Knosp, who rents him an apartment and lets him study art created by her famous late father; Olivia Howard, the talk show host who is fascinated by Jori not just because of his recent heroism, but also because of an old incident Jori thinks no one knows about.

I got to really know and care about these characters.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic copy of this book, and am reviewing it voluntarily.