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The Painting by Kathleen J. Shields

by Kellyn Roth |
October 7, 2016

Title: The Painting
Author: Kathleen J. Shields
Genre: Christian Allegory
Age-Range: 15+ (young adult)
Era: contemporary
Setting: contemporary world
Publisher: Kathleen J. Shields
Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)
Rating: 2/5 stars
Content: 3/5. Bullying, depressing subjects. Didn’t really bug me, but some people are sensitive about that kind of stuff.

The Painting by Kathleen J. Shields


We start our lives as a blank canvas.
It’s our diverse experiences that add color and definition to our painting.
Gerald’s world was often harsh and challenging. Feelings of loneliness and isolation were normal for him. The people in his life didn’t understand him and as a result, often ignored him, or refused to make time for him. However, the nature that surrounded Gerald inspired the most sympathetic and caring young child you could ever know.
It was Gerald’s love of the world’s creatures and all of its beauty that enabled the magic of his painting to come to life. The personal growth and the steps Gerald took to protect his creation is what truly made him exceptional.

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There are happier subjects to dwell on than books I just didn’t like, so I won’t talk long about The Painting. I didn’t enjoy it. I found it to be cliché, with flat, dead characters whose actions didn’t make sense.
Basically, Gerald, a bullied kid (whose parents are somehow not stepping in to help their obviously depressed, antisocial, hurting son … what kind of parents are they?!), is gifted a large blank canvass by his father.
Gerald paints a world on the canvass that magically comes to life (although Gerald doesn’t seem that surprised …) and allows people to step inside it and walk around (although Gerald doesn’t, for a reason I didn’t quite catch). Due to the fact that he sees humankind as evil, he doesn’t paint people in.
After 40% of sad Gerald, he meets the new kid in town, bubbly, optimistic Tiffany who acts like your average middle-grades most of the time … except when she starts having these in-depth, easily-could-be-thirty conversations with Gerald on the subject of humankind and how they truly aren’t evil.
Now, I’ve said way more than I promised myself I would. I promised the author I’d give my honest opinion, and so … this is gonna sound so mean … here goes.
This book is immature both in its interpretation of humankind, in its writing, and in its overall message. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who can’t tell the difference between truth and fiction, for the lines are greatly blurred here.
Thank you for reading my review, and I’m sorry for anyone who loves this book. I’m just giving my honest opinion.
~Kellyn Roth

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