But what I propose to do now with you will be a little different from the last time. Imagine you enter into a book store and see these two books on the table:
Hey, but that's the same book! Yes, on the left the new cover, on the right the old one. Yet they are both related to the story: the beautiful naked woman is the one Robert, our retiree-turned-artist, has painted with love; the pile of ladders reaching up to a hook is the (symbolic) contemporary art installation Robert has dreamed up and that will cause so much trouble.
Do let me know in the comments which cover you prefer! Though be warned, if you buy the book now, Amazon will send you the naked woman...
Now for the excerpt. What do you do when you ponder over a book? I'll tell you what I do. I read the opening paragraph (already presented to you, here) and turn the book over for a quick glance at the back cover:
Then I flip through to the end of the book and read the last lines. Here:
She stopped in front of his canvas.
“Ah, you’re back to painting! Robert, this is beautiful. Is it Bangladesh? I love the emotion, the sadness in their eyes…”
He smiled. “Welcome to my world…”
She hesitated. His world? She looked at the two girls wrapped in their bright colored sarees and smiled at them. Then, with her expression unchanged, she turned to him. “I understand”, she murmured and moved up to him.
He took her in his arms, he smelled her hair. He tightened his embrace, she let herself go, still smiling. A tiny tear welled up in the corner of her eye, just one tear. It felt good to be home.
The canvas referred to here is this one, two young girls standing in their water-logged fields after a flood (yes, I painted it):
Does the book end on a hopeful note? I think so and that indeed, is what I intended. Robert is on a quest to find himself once he's retired, and after a lot of trials and false starts, by the end of the book, he knows who he is, he knows what kind of world he wants to live in, he knows what his world is all about!
If you want to find out what sort of world it is, you'll have to read the book...
Available on Amazon, in e-book and paperback format: click here
Since today is Holy Friday for Christians, allow me to wish you a peaceful and happy Easter!