Paint the BirdBook - 2013
The Reverend Sarah Obadias is broken, bitter and stripped of the reassurance of faith when she walks into a West Village restaurant in Manhattan. Here she encounters Abraham Darby, a rumpled but well-regarded painter who seduces the minister into his life of excess and emotional intensity. "I've run away from my life," Sarah tells him. "I know," Darby replies. "take mine." But for Sarah, each day with the artist will bring a new reality, or lack of it.
Dancing through the novel is the mystical Yago, the gay son of Darby and the Costa Rican painter Alejandra Morales Diaz. But Alejandra's appearance further discomposes Sarah, and Yago provides no calm or clarity when she encounters him: "It's all bizarre, surreal. Finally she draws closer to Yago, intending to caress him in some horrible mix of mothering and lust."
Bloodlines becomes squiggles and unreliable as the novel explores the ever-changing relationship between fathers and sons and what constitutes a family. And throughout, one question lingers: What really did happen when a small boy was swallowed by the sea?
Laced with humor and a linguistic vibrancy, this tale of converging fates becomes a contemplation on faith, faithfulness, and the sticky, oft unpleasant and frightening nature of spiritual and emotional growth.