The Mosaic Artist by Jane Ward

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The Manoli family was torn apart by divorce while children Mark and Shelley were still young. Devastated by the break-up, Mark became estranged from his father, severing ties with him and never forging a relationship with his stepmother Sylvie, while Shelley found a different path toward acceptance. Now, as their father Jack comes to the end of his life, he bequeaths to his children his beloved cottage, his honeymoon home with Sylvie. Old wounds are torn open and secrets from the past force Mark and Shelley to reevaluate their lives and the relationships they’ve delicately maintained through so many years of rage and resentment.
Shelley, a middle school teacher with a husband and two children, searches for the comfort and support she has spent a lifetime giving, while Mark, an artist with a girlfriend he keeps at arm’s length, must finally come face-to-face with the event that devastated his life. Each has their own story that must unfold in its own way, probing for the healing and redemptive power held within necessary to rebuild and find the space to create a new definition of their family at a time of death, and continuing life.
A moving portrait of a family’s uneasy stasis torn apart by the death of a parent, The Mosaic Artist is a touching reminder of the frailties of the human condition and the fragile nature of the safe worlds we endeavor so hard to build. This deeply moving examination of the pain of divorce, the lifelong effect it can have on the children bearing the brunt of it, and the healing work required to rebuild the lives of those affected is a voice from the broken homes of modern America. Insightful and patiently paced, it finds the quiet spaces in the human heart, forever probing for the places where pain is hidden, where anger roils, and confusion abounds. With a tremendous gift for what is left unsaid, Jane Ward delivers a hushed but forceful rendering of the broken spirit hidden within, and the chances for healing understanding delivers.

About Jane Ward

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Jane Ward is the author of HUNGER (Forge, 2001) and THE MOSAIC ARTIST. Jane graduated from Simmons College in 1983 with a degree in English Literature, the desire to write novels, and an aptitude for and love of cooking. Upon graduation, she began working almost immediately in the food and hospitality industry, trying her hand at catering, planning corporate parties, and baking. After years of long days and late nights at both Creative Gourmets in Boston and The 95th Restaurant in Chicago, food - which had led Jane to so many wonderful work experiences - would take her to one more unexpected place. She found herself in a world filled with stories waiting to be told.For her first novel, HUNGER, Jane drew on her years of work experience to take a sensual and heartbreaking look at marriage, emotional hunger, appetite for life, and the myriad pleasures of a good meal well served. The story of THE MOSAIC ARTIST took shape after Jane's stint as weekend baker at the Quebrada Bakery in Arlington, MA. Over the morning's scones, muffins, and bread, Jane had many lively conversations with the bakery's cake decorator, a talented and accomplished mosaicist, and soon mosaic art found its outlet in one of the novel's main characters.Jane is currently at work on her third novel, THE WELCOME HOME; her weekly blog, FOOD AND FICTION (; and a food memoir entitled TATTOOED WITH FOOD. She is also a contributing writer to the online regional food magazine, Local In Season ( and occasional host of cooking videos for an internet recipe resource found on some Eagle-Tribune newspapers ( 1983 Jane has lived in Chicago, Washington State, and Iceland before settling back in her home state of Massachusetts in 1999, where she now lives on its north shore with her husband, two children, and dog, Spy.
Published April 14, 2011 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 358 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships. Fiction

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She hopes to help Mark find a balance “somewhere in between perfection and devastation” creating a reality “where all the many pieces of us—the pleasant and painful—can be reconfigured into an imperfect but solid-enough life”— something their father also strived to create in choosing Sylvie.

Sep 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Mosaic Artist

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