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Home | Culture | Art | Book Review: Arlene’s Heart – Author Victoria Frances

Book Review: Arlene’s Heart – Author Victoria Frances

Written and Illustrated by Victoria Frances
Published by NBM Publishing
Publication Date: 2007
Format: Full Color, 80 pages
Price: $24.95

Arlene’s’ Heart is just more than a visual treat. It’s a treat for the eyes, the soul and the mind. Victoria Frances is an artist who received acclaim for here Goth series “Favole”. Her latest release comes in the the way of a much more personal journey. First impression rewards one with a blast of articulate and beautiful art renders throughout the entire volume. Though while this could easily serve as a portfolio the purpose is much deeper at heart. Victoria tells of a tale of a young girl who receives breast surgery.

In the process, she also is forced to sacrifice her left breast and in result left with a scar in it’s place. Arlene would often spend her free time constructing puppets and dolls to sell to rich girls. This fascination extended for the duration of her life as it gave her great pleasure. Though now at the age of 20 and left with a portion of her womanhood removed, the illness she was suffering from was already too great to escape. Shortly after, the spreading took her life. Our story follows the soul of Arlene as she finds herself in the afterlife. Now, in a state of confusion and plunged into new environments she must pursue her journey in the form of a doll. While alive she had always wished to be transformed into the things she loved, So this new manifestation comes as no surprise. What is a surprise is the visions she encounters in this strange new voyage. Seeking out her heart she follows the sounds of heartbeats into dreams, nightmares and metaphorical lands. She encounters pain, suffering, bliss, self realization and a number of emotional resolves.

While the book Arlene’s Heart is pure fantasy, I know from reading enough books on the afterlife, that what Arlene encounters is a form of self journey that a soul may follow in its new state of being. Far from our reality this reality is based on a construct of past life feelings and emotional hardships. It also is a place of heaven, love and passion. While time has no meaning the sense of time can appear to extend many days to fulfill the mission intended for a particular soul. Though as easily as Arlene has taken form to a doll figure this form is purely created form ones own persona of themselves. I think he author wanted to convey this story but also build a fantasy tale that takes the reader on a trip as well.

Artwork throughout is tasteful, meaningful and composed with a strong sense of emotion. Each page jumps out perfectly with the story that follows along. The eyes of the characters rendered through out speak of the emotion that the artist has envisioned for them. There is a definite sense of sadness that is rounded out with hope. I think this is a fine story and art composition collection that has meaning and purpose. The book is complemented by a great publishing job from NBM who have invested the time to make the colors, paper stock and presentation a truly special piece.

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