Friday, October 15, 2010

132 - Blue Nude; Elizabeth Rosner


Did you ever read a book that was so good, that you read it twice, back to back? Such was the case for me with  Blue Nude, by Elizabeth Rosner. A short novel, just 200 pages, but a fantastic book that completely wowed me.

The story is about two artists -- initially strangers whose lives, past and present intersect after a chance meeting.  Danzig is a 58 year old German-born painter. He was born days after WWII to a cold and abusive father and a submissive mother. Danzig and his sister Margot were witness to the cruelties of their father, who although never fully revealed, appeared to play a significant role in the elimination of the Jews during the war.  To cope with the ways of his demanding father, at an early age, Danzig found comfort in painting and art. 
 "Still, his father always found ways of tormenting him, made sure he was given jobs to do before he was allowed to eat his meal or play or read a book. He was inspected for cleanliness in the mornings before going to school, and he was sent to bed without food if he ever left a job half finished--or worse, if he had said he had done something when actually he hadn't"........................."He was on his own, and his father was the enemy, and it was all very clear and without alteration."
 After tragedy strikes, and only unhappy memories remain, Danzig leaves Germany for America. He moves to San Francisco to pursue a career in art. He works as an art professor at the Art Institute in San Francisco.

Merav, is a young, Israeli born woman who makes a living as a nude model.  When she finds work posing for Danzig's art class, she is careful not to speak fearing that Danzig will pick up on her accent, as she has with his.  Merav, too, has had her share of tragedy, and years later the nightmares still haunt her. There is an unspoken interest by the two that keeps them connected. She feels at peace while posing for Danzig's class. For Danzig, in Merav he finds his creativeness returning after 5+ years. He asks her to pose for him privately in his studio. Merav is totally in her comfort zone when posing for art students........
"She felt like a swallow, dipping and soaring at twilight. She felt her body touched without being touched".
"Sometimes Merav thinks that modeling is one of the ways her physical life resembles that of her childhood on the kibbutz."
With out giving too much of the story away, I'll just say that I was completely taken by this story. The writing is beautiful, the characters so well fleshed out; I felt deeply for both of them.  A redemptive story about the power of the human spirit as each individual tries to cope with the demons of their past. Blue Nude, is a story you will not easily forget.

Originally published in hardcover by Ballantine in May 2006 and reissued in 2010 in paperback by Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster). I can't believe that this wonderful book has not received more accolades. Do yourself a favor and read this book, you will be glad you did.

Rating - 5/5 Stars - Complimentary Copy

31 comments:

  1. I've never been so taken with a book that I read it twice in a row, so this one must really be a gem.

    ReplyDelete
  2. this sounds like a wonderful book-I have added this up until now unheard of me book to my wish list-thanks for sharing it

    ReplyDelete
  3. With a review like that I'll have to check it out ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. This sounds wonderful, Diane. You get the best books sent to you :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow! I can feel the passion in your words. I have never felt compelled to re-read a book twice in a row, so this book but be really special. I am going to keep an eye out for a copy of this book now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thismust be particularly good for you to read it twice in a row. Thank you for the review. Both book and author new to me.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with Kathy- for you to read a book twice in a row is high praise indeed! I'll be checking this one out...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am very interested in this book! I echo Kathy too. This must be a really good book. Let me see if it's on Kindle. I won't be able to read it now but I will put it into wish list or buy it if it's available now for later reading. :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love the title of your blog. It sounds like a perfect life. What could be better except maybe Bibliophile in the Mountains with the sea nearby or Bibliophile in Provence. I plan to use you as book reference. I hope our book tastes mesh.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for adding another to my must read list!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

    ReplyDelete
  11. High praise indeed. I can't say that I have ever read a book only to re-read it straight away. I'm always too eager for the next read.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, I am intrigued! Must check this one out now!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow! A back-to-back read?! I don't reread books, but it's great to see that you loved it that much. I'm going to look out for this one.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow -- you read this twice back-to-back? It must be so good then - I have to look it up!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awesome review! I don't know where I saw this book but I loved the cover and title. I'm glad to hear that the content is amazing as well.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is an example of a book that I would have passed on (mostly due to the title) but will now definitely read because of a glowing book blog review.

    Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I say I must read my copy sooner than later then. Thanks for your compelling review!

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a recommendation! I can't believe you read it and then read it over again. I don't think I've EVER done that.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You must have really loved this book, Diane. I will keep it in mind. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sounds good - I'll keep an eye out for it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow, that good huh? I read one other review of this and it was the opposite. Although, the subject of artists is always a must read for me.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Holy smokes--so good you read it twice? I'm definitely adding this to the wish list!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Reading a book twice back to back is a heck of a recommendation! After reading your review, I am convinced that this is one I need to try. Thanks for the enticing review!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm certainly going to be looking for this one! I'm always wonder how gems like this one get over looked??? I just checked and my library has this one so I requested it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. There are only a handful of books that I've read twice (on purpose) so I know how special this one must be in order for you to have read it twice.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Twice back to back?! That's an amazing endorsement. Count it on my list!

    ReplyDelete
  27. This sounds really good. I'll have to see if my library has it, since I'll be going there soon to return The Girl's science fair books.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Marked it up...Will buy as soon as I see it here.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow - I've never read a book twice in a row. I'm definitely adding this one to my wish list.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh, I also meant to say that I hope it's okay to link to your review on War Through the Generations.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.

(I apologize for the word verification, spammers spoil it for all sadly.)