Book Review

The Glimpse by Lis Bensley

Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd | Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

This is a novel that delves into the intricacies and angst that undoubtedly burns through some relationships - maybe none more so than mother and daughter. At its core, this story explores the notion that being a mother doesn’t mean being perfect; it comes down to love, sacrifice and sheer will.

Title: The Glimpse

Author: Lis Bensley

Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd

Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

First Publication: 2021

Language: English

 

Book Summary: The Glimpse by Lis Bensley

Liza Baker, a rising star in the burgeoning Abstract Expressionist era, finds herself sidelined when she gets pregnant, and decides to have the child. Yet, against conventional wisdom, she’s convinced she can have a successful career and be a good mother to her daughter, Rouge.

She takes a job teaching at a college and comes up against the harsh realities of the male-dominated art world. Unable to build a successful career, she watches as her former lover, whose work resembles hers, skyrocket to fame. Liza develops a drinking problem and often brings home artist lovers she’s met in the city. When Rouge meets Ben Fuller, one of Liza’s discarded lovers who subsequently fosters Rouge talent in photography, the complexity of the mother-daughter relationship takes on the added charge of a competition between the two, one that Liza tries to sabotage.

THE GLIMPSE is a moving, unsentimental tale of the charged New York art world of the 1950s and the relationship between a mother and daughter as they grapple with their relationship that becomes pivotal to their artwork.

The Glimpse by Lis Bensley

Book Review: The Glimpse by Lis Bensley

The Glimpse is a novel that delves into the intricacies and angst that undoubtedly burns through some relationships – maybe none more so than mother and daughter. At its core, this story explores the notion that being a mother doesn’t mean being perfect; it comes down to love, sacrifice and sheer will. Through her cast of captivating characters, Lis Bensley confronts the reality that haunts us all – each and every one of us is rife with cracks and flaws, no matter how well we hide it from prying eyes. That’s just life.

The Glimpse is Lis Bensley’s tale of an artist who falls into the hands of an unscrupulous men and finds herself in the usual predicament. A rising star among Abstract Expressionist artists, Liza Baker, was passionate about her work. She finds herself sidelined when she becomes pregnant and decides to have a child. She is, however, convinced that she can have a successful career and a good relationship with Rouge, her daughter.

A new job at a college exposes her to the harsh realities of a male-dominated art world. Having failed to launch a successful career, she watches as her former lover, whose work looks similar to hers, becomes famous. As Rouge begins to nurture her talent in photography with Ben Fuller, one of Liza’s ex-lovers, the mother-daughter relationship becomes more complex as a competition arises between the two.

Through ‘The Glimpse’, Author Lis Bensley presents a compelling glimpse at New York art world of the 1950s, one of the most fascinating and progressive time, and a mother-daughter relationship. The story of Liza’s life is one of betrayal, the meaning of forgiveness, and the relationships between mothers and daughters. It’s about the role of women in a male-dominated society and profession.

Lis Bensley writes with passion and verve in this impeccably researched novel, full of details and rich descriptions of Abstract Expressionist era. The women here are a disparate group of unconventional, stand out complex characters, that are well developed and who I invested in. The Glimpse is a terrific read that immerses the reader in the period of US history and the norms, expectations and attitudes of the time, with the drama enhanced by the beautiful location with its wilderness. It touches on issues of misogyny, exploitation, and hard lives, with a moving and heart-warming narrative that resonates with our contemporary world where the hard won rights of women can no longer be taken for granted. Additionally, it serves as a salutary reminder of just what an impact art can make to individuals and the world.

What struck me the most about this journey was the author’s ability to change my entire perspective – meaning, my thoughts and feelings in the beginning of the story were vastly different from the time I turned that final page. It’s akin to pure magic when you pick up a book from an author you haven’t read before and find yourself caught up in what can only be described as book ecstasy. What I didn’t anticipate was this level of character development, the level of intricate detail and the multifaceted beings that I wanted nothing more than to surround myself with.

The Glimpse by Lis Bensley is powerful, emotional, questioning, unique story. If you are looking for something to read that is delightful, charming, with many layers of depth, this is a book you will love. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in reading about the life of an artist and perhaps historical fiction lovers in general.

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