Review: Nina by Liz DeJesus

Monday, October 8, 2007

Nina by Liz DeJesusNina
by Liz DeJesus
Blu Phi'er Publishing, October 2007
168 pages; $12.99
ISBN : 0977203492

I was instantly attracted to the beautifully-drawn cover of Liz DeJesus’ Nina. It promised a fantasy just the other side of reality, and this is exactly where DeJesus strove to take the reader. This is the tale of Nina, a never-born but oft-imagined daughter come to life.

Rachel Ramirez, talented artist, suffers miscarriage and betrayal and copes with these losses through her art. Over and over again, she paints her would-have-been daughter Nina at different stages of her life. One of these paintings--Nina as an adult--becomes sentient and begins to communicate with Rachel. Here begins the story.

Nina steps out of her canvas. We follow this innocent through the joys and heartaches of life, and we learn that she has been presented with a choice: to be born into this world, and love and suffer as we all must, or to safely return to her painting and remain there forever. She is given one year to make her choice.

DeJesus' idea is a solid one. Works of art have come to life before in literature—witness, Pygmalion—but in this case, the point of view is that of the artwork/character herself. DeJesus works a twist or two into the plot, but mostly, the story is straightforward. It draws its own line between parable and full-blown novel. The plot advances quickly. The writing could have been more a touch persuasive; Nina's character's combination of naiveté and inherent knowledge was a bit of a leap of faith for me, but Nina kept me reading along.

Nina bursts with truly heartfelt writing; it reads like a labor of love. It’s one of those stories you imagine had been growing inside its author for ages, until the moment finally came to commit it to paper. DeJesus created a world in which paintings-become-flesh have a place, and we all have a lesson or two to learn. If a chick lit fantasy with a spiritual journey thrown into the mix is something that entices you, pick up a copy of Nina.
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posted by sue

7 comments; 0 subscribers

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 / 21:27:50
Welcome to the first comment after the review!

Today's topic: how you can win your very own copy (our very own copy) of Nina!


Open to any shipping address in the continental US. :)

Leave your answer by the end of Oct 16, 2007 (pacific time), and we'll count you in our raffle. :)
Friday, October 12, 2007 / 00:05:13
The Mona Lisa :)
Friday, October 12, 2007 / 03:13:07
I'd be a lily in Monet's "Water Lillies."
Friday, October 12, 2007 / 05:52:28
Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It gives the generic image of what most people think about when they think an image of God. Old, long beard wither white or in this case gray, all knowing. Age being the symbol of wisdom and knowledge.
Besides, who wouldn't want the chance to touch fingers with God? It would just be cool!
Friday, October 12, 2007 / 17:39:00
The angel in DaVinci's Madonna of the Rocks. Where are they, and what's an angel doing in a cave, babysitting?
Saturday, October 13, 2007 / 05:42:21
LOL I'm not going to name a pic, I would have to be one of those abstract arts...because I'm always all over the place and off the wall. So I guess you could say I'd be an original ;)
Wednesday, October 17, 2007 / 17:09:46
Congratulations to Steven Gilby, the winner of Nina.

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