Perfect Architect

Jayne Joso. Alcemi (www.alcemi.eu), $16.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-9560125-2-4
In Joso's engaging second novel, a widow finds strength in the secrets her acclaimed architect husband left behind. Sifting through the correspondence of her dead husband, Charles, Gaia Ore finds evocative letters from a certain Selené, which suggest an untoward intimacy between them. Is this her husband's mistress and the key to his enigmatic personality? After the curious Gaia writes to Selené, she discovers that the lady is a reclusive, elderly family friend. Their correspondence sparks a warm, marvelous affection, as Selené eagerly advises Gaia to embrace pain and get on with her life. To this end, Selené sponsors a competition for Charles's former colleagues and rivals to build Gaia a new home. In alternating points of view, and through letters, Joso (Soothing Music for Stray Cats) fleshes out the somewhat thin plot with the personalities of the four chosen architects, especially Alessandro Cannizzaro, who invites Gaia to visit Italy. Moreover, there is the tertiary, tender-hearted mailman, Tom, who loved Charles and helps takes care of Gaia. Joso maintains a fine balance between the intellectual and the emotional in this promising, character-rich work. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/05/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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