MANscapes Journey into the light By Manuela Cardiga’s Blog Tour
” All women – from the most exquisite beauty to the plainest drab – want to believe in the Cinderella myth. Even the harsh-faced and sour-hearted, somewhere deep in their night-time struggles with their bitterest reality, dare to dream some Prince could still see past the
dense veil of unkind nature and time, to the delicate, frail-hearted beauty within.”
But Clara wasn’t Cinderella, waiting for her Prince, she was Sleeping Beauty poisoned by a deadly kiss. After 24 years Clara awakens from a living nightmare of abuse and discovers her life unfolding miraculously; but the true miracle is her own blossoming: the maturing of a frightened abused girl into a strong woman capable of love, laughter and joy.
In Tahiti’s exotic landscape Clara finds her way from darkness to incandescent light, embracing in herself the strength of choice, and the power of decision.
MANscapes is a powerful parable of hope and renewal, a story of one woman’s discovery of herself and her journey into love.
Clara is a young woman from a small town who comes to Lisbon to study Art. She has just begun her adventure of self-discovery in the extravagant bohemian world of the late 70’s, when her journey is abruptly cut short by a brutal rape by an acquaintance.
In the aftermath, Clara finds herself pregnant, and her family pressures her into marrying the man who assaulted her, and who claims “she was willing”. Clara is plunged into a nightmare of abuse that is to last two decades.
One day something changes. A chance encounter, a word spoken in passing by a stranger, and Clara awakens. Wakes and takes charge of her life. She frees herself of the nightmare and of her oppressor, but can she heal herself of the scars years of abuse have left on her spirit?
Determined to continue her interrupted journey, Clara goes to Tahiti to fulfill her childhood dream and “paint like Gauguin”.
On the magical island of Moorea, Clara enters a world of endless possibilities where she starts to blossom as a woman, and an artist. There, Clara meets the right man, and falls in love with the wrong one…
A return to Lisbon gifts Clara with vindication, closure, and triumph over her abuser, and yet her trials have just begun. She is about to discover the path of life rarely runs smoothly, and before she can reach for happiness, Clara must grow.
She must shed the abused girl and become a woman, capable of making the hardest of decisions, taking responsibility for herself and a new life. Setting out on the difficult road that leads to maturity, Clara must complete her journey from darkness into light.
This was a beautifully written story, but I just couldn’t get into it at all. I didn’t connect with Clara in they way I wanted to and it wasn’t anything to do with the author.
She finally leaves her husband after almost 24 years of rape which took a lot of courage for her to do, and she and up in Tahiti where she is free. Clara starts to paint again and in the end out, of the darkness that has encompassed her for so much of her life there is light and hope.
The characters were unique and quite eccentric and they drew me into the story eventually but still there was something – I am not sure if it was the subject of rape or her husband.
Since I don’t do half stars it will be a 4 star though in actual fact is is more 3.5 stars.
This book may appeal to others but this is my honest review.
Manuela Cardiga was born in Mozambique and raised in South Africa where she studied fashion design. She moved to Europe where she worked as a fashion designer, then moved to the crazy world of advertising as a
graphic designer and copywriter. Manuela is a designer by profession, a cook by vocation, and a writer by compulsion. She currently resides in Lisbon, Portugal
where she writes contemporary and historical fiction, designs book covers,
illustrates children’s books, and mothers a gorgeous daughter while juggling a day job. She also dabbles enthusiastically in exotic, experimental cuisine, much to the discomfort of family and friends.