Review: Dear Mona Lisa . . . by Claire Davis and Al Stewart

Tom, shy office clerk by day and drawer of foxes by night wakes up one Monday knowing the most extraordinary week of his life is about to begin. In five days time a lifelong ‘secret’ will be made gloriously public—but will it mean losing the person he loves most?

Getting married…

It seems like only yesterday Tom changed nappies and sang nursery rhymes to a laughing baby. He relishes the demands of being a daddy; especially teaching his little girl to draw and paint as she grows up. But the years tick by and times change. Long-buried secrets must come to the surface which may test even the strongest ties.

Tom and Lawrence…

He writes a list of all the things he has to do before the weekend and sticks it in the middle of his wall. The names and goals hang like threads of a spider’s web, inevitably leading to the centre, and all to the same place.

Dear Mona Lisa…

How to explain?

Each morning he notes the colours of dawn, listens to the birds and waits for the perfect moment. In one hand rests the balance of life and a terrible responsibility, in the other a wedding ring. Difficult days and the past loom, but his friends rally round and one by one the words come to life. Everyone waits as Tom finds the strength to open up and set free the secrets of his heart in a celebration of family, friendship and love.

A quirky story of modern life, set within the breathtaking landscape of Bradford.

You ever feel like you got hugged by a book? Isn’t it awesome?

I just got book hugged by Dear Mona Lisa. It was warm, colorful and full of sweet, sweet feels.

I have always loved the tales these authors put together, the stories tend to be on the quiet side which works so perfectly for their slightly quirky characters. The focus stays on their character driven stories instead of outside craziness. Their characters are so multi-dimensional I want all the focus on them because the story is in the nuances and I don’t want any distraction from a single one.

It’s refreshing to read a story about a couple of more mature MC’s who were an already established couple. That already adds an air of uniqueness to the story, put that together with Al and Claire’s distinctive characters and it’s a recipe for an unforgettable story.

Not very many authors can “show” a tale rather than “tell” it like these two. The first couple of pages read like you’ve been dropped into something that has already started, which makes sense considering the MC’s lives were built well before I showed up, but they always manage to bring it together quickly and organically so I get to be part of their lives right away.

Tom holds a wealth of anxiety and past traumas, he’s a shy man that deals with the crap life has put upon him through his art. He escapes and shares his wishes subtly through the foxes and woodland critters he finds comfort in. His daughter and his partner are his world and he has a great deal of support from his network of friends. Looking at the people around him, he is obviously a good and brave man, Tom doesn’t see that one bit however and it’s heartbreaking as well as understandable.

His partner Lawrence is pure perfection for Tom and I loved their moments together, they balance so well. Tom is an artist and sees the world through slightly different lenses. He feels colors viscerally and has a kindred spririt in his daughter who sees the world the same. He loves her more than anything and is so afraid of disappointing her with his “big news”. He puts it off and puts it off, and in the end, it was basically a non-issue. Considering the stressful buildup, you would think there should be more drama, but it made complete sense with how it turned out. Tom’s offspring would not respond any other way, she is too much like him and was raised surrounded by unconditional love, so it makes sense that she would love the same way in return.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

1 comment: