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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Book Review: Man of Clay





Book Blurb:

Connie lives in a modern day harem with her ex, two wives, and their five children. It's a 'sensible arrangement that cracks when a new woman arrives on the scene. Is this one wife too many? Connie struggles with the realization she must finally let her husband go. As she builds her last collection of ceramics, Connie reflects on longing, serial monogamy and his career as a herpetologist. Humans have much in common with frogs. Metamorphosis parallels the reactions of mud and glaze in a kiln, Man of Clay is about family, frogs, and art. The kiln fires hotter than the crematorium.

Book Review:


Man of Clay is a women’s fiction written by Victoria Osborne. Connie Baldwin, a sculptor leads a complex life. She has never stopped loving Jude, her ex-husband whom she divorced out of guilt when she could not give him another child. Connie plays matchmaker, Jude and her friend Zita marries and has children. Jude eventually divorces Zita, marries Simone and starts another family. Connie convinces Jude that he and “the wives and kids” should all live in her apartment building as one happy family. This arrangement seems to work until Jude admits his involvement with another woman, and Zita plans on marrying again. Connie’s well-structured life suddenly unhinges and she finds herself battling to keep her “wives harem” together with Jude as the primary male in their lives.

“You can’t have your cake and eat it too, or can you?” Reading Man of Clay made me realize that this quote does not apply to Connie who narrates so emotionally about the changes in her life. The characters try to maintain stability in their unusual living arrangement but insist on doing things out of the ordinary. I think Connie is overly protective, yet slightly jealous as she strives to create the perfect family while still yearning for Jude. Jude is a womanizer who tends to” go with the flow” and let the wives make most decisions. The story has a mature writing structure that is more suitable for older adults, and it moves at a slower pace that seems appropriate for a setting that reflects the 1960’s onwards.

The characters have strong personas, which are different from each other, so that made the drama absorbing. There are numerous interesting comparisons throughout the book about the similarities of humans and frogs, as Connie refers to some amphibians that are associated with fertility. The cover illustration is lovely. This is Victoria Osborne’s first novel and she has managed to produce a nicely written, very original thought-provoking story.


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Here are links to Victoria Osborne's book:

Amazon  : Man of Clay

GoodreadsMan of Clay

Facebook: Victoria Osborne


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