One of my favorite books this year is Still Life with Strings by LH Cosway. I sat down yesterday and realized I was missing that feeling the book gave me, so naturally I got another book by the same author. I read Painted Faces in one sitting. I’m just in awe at how beautiful this author’s stories are.
In Painted Faces, we meet Fred and Viv… and really, aren’t these the best character names ever?! Fred is short for Freda, our heroine. She’s running home from work soaked to the bone when she bumps into her new neighbour, Viv. Viv is actually a hot guy called Nicholas who works as a drag queen called Vivica Blue.
“We all paint on a face to show the world,” Nicholas replies philosophically. “For some of us, that’s quite literal.”
Nicholas immediately makes it known that he’s attracted to Freda, but Freda doesn’t buy it. She wonders if he’s bisexual given the nature of his job and second, she’s a bit on the chubby side and usually men as attractive as Nicholas don’t go for her. However, she enjoys his company so why not be his friend? And their story begins…
The best thing about this book, just like Still Life with Strings, is how effortless the storytelling is. Though both deal with heavy subject matter, the author’s intention is not to force anguish on the reader (ahem, New Adult books…)… she just lays the story bare, and while we empathise, the main emotion I feel with this author’s books, is hope. She reminds me of friendship and love and beauty… I just feel buoyant and happy when I read her books. Somewhat reminiscent of Jill Mansell with the humor, only this time we have much more than the humor.
But back to the story. Nicholas hires Fred to be his assistant and Fred finds that she’s not only falling for the tall dark and handsome Nicholas, but also for the beautiful Vivica Blue.
Am I attracted to the man behind the costume? Or do I want the man in the costume? It’s hard to tell. I think I like the entire package.
But the question is, does Nicholas feel the same way? Fred knows that there’s a lot of sadness in him. She sees it in between all the laughter. What could have hurt him so much? Can she help him? Does he want her help?
Sigh… I just fell in love with their story. A different kind of story told in the most extraordinary kind of way.
Amazon Buy Link -> Painted Faces by LH Cosway