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Not a great read for me at all Nov 03, Ariel rated it it was amazing. Make sure you clear your schedule before picking up this book, because you won't want to put it down. Kay's debut novel is a riveting trip through Florence, and so much more.


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As we follow Marina through her present-day life as a single mother in the Hudson Valley and her unforgettable experiences in Florence 15 years before, we see how a series of understandable decisions can result in almost unforgivable consequences. Kay gently rips the seams of the overlapping circles of women's lives: Not only will you love it, but you'll find yourself thinking about it for months to come. Jan 05, Laurie Treacy rated it really liked it Shelves: The author made Florence come alive in my eyes and I was floored by the intricate art of gilding.

With the loving ways the town and the art is skillfully portrayed, it is so obvious the author must treasure these things since her fondness is evident in every passage. I liked how the book was split into two sections, the 'before' and 'after' as we witness a young girl become a woman. The Gilder is a thoroughly absorbing read and its characters, lush scenery and classic art will remain with you lo The author made Florence come alive in my eyes and I was floored by the intricate art of gilding. The Gilder is a thoroughly absorbing read and its characters, lush scenery and classic art will remain with you long after its final paragraph.

For the rest of my review go to: Nov 03, Robert rated it it was amazing. If you like Florence, Italy, this book will take you there. The characters are complicated and Marina the main character is back in Florence after 15 years to repair the damage created years ago as a young woman finding her way. This was presented to me as "woman's lit", friendship, seduction, betrayal etc, but I found it hard to put down. Its about relationships, but Kathryn Kay's descriptions of Florence are icing on the cake. Take the trip, I think you'll like it.

Feb 09, Susan rated it it was amazing. Nov 22, Karen Van rated it it was amazing. I couldn't put it down -What a great read! I absolutely loved the story, the romantic setting in Florence, and the way the relatable characters walked a fine line between friendship and love. The author left me wanting more chapters! Jan 23, Nora-adrienne rated it it was amazing Shelves: Her life, too, seems flawless, at least on the surface.

But more and more, Marina is conscious of what she lacks--someone to share her joys and sorrows with, confidence in the decisions she's made, and the courage to tell her teenage daughter, Zoe, the truth about her father. Then Marina is invited to return to Florence, where she lived years before while learning her trade as a gilder. In those heady days, she wandered the city's picturesque streets, marveling at the masterpieces in the Duomo and the Pitti Palace. In the church of Santa Croce, she met Thomas, an American photographer who, along with his wife Sarah, introduced Marina to a thrilling, bohemian world of art and beauty.

Through them, she also learned about love, lies, and the way one mistake can multiply into many. Now, as her past and present collide, Marina will finally have to move beyond the intricate veneer she's crafted around herself, and find the life that she--and Zoe--have been looking for. Leaving behind an apprenticeship that she loved, and friends who had no idea why she left. Now she must deal with those memories as she prepares her speech, and also deal with a fifteen year old daughter who desperately wants to go to Italy with her. Zoe has grown up without a father.

He was just a series of short answers given to her by her mother in response to her asking about him over the years. Her mother showed her how this could be the basis for the report she was writing for her world events class. As she delved deeper into the story, finding photos in magazines the seed was planted, that and a promise never fulfilled by her mother to take her to Italy and visit these sights first hand.

The Gilder Lehrman Collection | Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Year after year the promised trip never appeared, till she finally decided that after college she would just pack and go. She worked during college and saved up the money for her trip, and the course she signed up for in gilding and art preservation. I laughed, cried, and found myself sympathizing with problems and the course they took her on. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romance. I received this book from the publisher, who only requested a fair and impartial review.

Jan 17, Romancing the Book rated it really liked it Shelves: Robin Book provided by: Publisher Review originally posted at Romancing the Book Ever have one of those moments when you think it would be easier on everyone to make up a story to glamorize your life. In this beautiful yet emotional story by Kathryn Kay about a Gilder we find that eventually the past does catch up with the present. Marina Nesmith had a knack of taking picture frames and art and doing what is called gilding to take the tarnish away and making them shine and shimmer once Reviewed by: Marina Nesmith had a knack of taking picture frames and art and doing what is called gilding to take the tarnish away and making them shine and shimmer once again.

In Florence, Marina learned the craft of a gilder. She met some Americans that had been living the bohemian lifestyle. They became friends and forged a relationship of sorts. Marina had a small fling with Thomas but really found her attracted to Sarah, which to Marina was a rather scary thing.

Because of the infidelity with a married man Marina found herself pregnant. What is Marina to do? All these years she has been living a lie. Marina has been telling lies to cover up the past which has now caught up to her. And in order to do that Marina must face the past. So we travel back to where it all began Italy.

Facing the past is never easy. I liked the concept of the story. How the secrets, lies, friendships, betrayals and choices we make always have a way of coming back to force us to be truthful with ourselves. We all know that with the choices that we make, they have a way of affecting not only our lives but those around us also. As Marina finds sometimes it really is simple. We sometimes just want someone to share it all with. Someone to share life with, the good and bad… It can be as simple as finding the confidence to tell the truth about the past.

In this case your daughter about her father. I found this to be an eye opening story that hit some spots in my own life. Kay brought out the vulnerability of strong women. She showed that friendships are complex and that families protect. I especially loved the display of forgiveness within the family it was sweet and tender, showing that healing is possible. Kay has a strong sense of descriptive prowess that whether you have been to Italy or not makes you wants to go.

There was a sympathetic realism to the story with a little bit a cluelessness which helped in making it more real. A feel good story that shows how choices we make affects everyone and not just us. Jan 29, Lori rated it liked it. So I jumped up and down to accept The Gilder for review. Let's start with the good. I love the vibrant red of the door and shutters, I love the flowers and vines draped across the building.

It is just so European; it speaks to me and makes me want to pick up the book and delve right in. As I mentioned above, I love books set in Europe. The Gilder excels at this particular point, bringing Florence, Italy to life in vivid, spectacular fashion, from descriptions of the narrow streets to the architecturally stunning buildings to the breathtaking art to the mouthwatering foods. Truly, the city of Florence should be paying Ms. Kay a commission for her selling of it as any reader will immediately want to book tickets to this incredible city after reading the book.

I know I did. I have always wanted to visit Italy and now I am fairly itching to get on the next plane out. Another positive point of The Gilder is main character Marina. She is frustrating at certain points in the book, yes, but aren't all our friends at some times? Marina is painfully real and to me, that makes her more likable.

Kay's writing of Marina is so fluid that Marina's joy at experiencing Florence the first time feels like a personal recounting - - the sights and smells almost literally come alive from the page. Likewise, Marina's pain and tragedy are told with the frank rawness of an open wound. I sympathized with her over her no-win situation and actually wanted to give her a hug. Kay's writing is warm and passionate and she made me care about her characters and, again, she made Florence, Italy come alive. It was a pleasurable few days spent with Ms. Kay and her book of this exciting, incredible city.

So why didn't I love the book?

The Gilder Picture Framing

I'm not sure exactly why. Other than the colorful descriptions of Italy, I liked the second part of the book better than the first. There were certain portions of the first section that dragged a little bit for me. I am on the fence about the book's ending, which made sense but was still frustrating. It's a pleasant diversion and an absolutely lovely look at Florence. Dec 29, Debbie rated it really liked it.

As a young adult Marina goes to Florence to further her art of gilding, hoping to learn from a master in a place where the art was created and perfected. Living in Florence she meets and befriends Sarah and Thomas who become her foster family and yet she also fosters deeper feelings toward Sarah, feelings that are unsettling. Sixteen years later, her life built on lies, deceit and denials is starting to unravel when her daughter Zoe starts asking questions and the lies start sticking in her throat.

In an act of life mimicking art she sees that the hurt to relationships is just as deep as the damage to a piece of artwork that needs repairing and the fix is just as fragile as the gilt she uses to finish the process. In confessing to past wrongs she is learning more about her self and perhaps opening feelings that were once locked deeply away and perhaps resolution will result in reparations. Kathryn Kay brings us a poignant and beautiful look at Florence through the eyes of someone innocent and fresh who slowly becomes cynical as a result of life. Her plot is imaginative and unique.

Her characters are all memorable and some are confusing.


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Her protagonist Marina grows throughout the novel and yet never really matures until the end where the author literally gives her readers a front row seat of Marina learning to trust, hope and live again without the debilitating fear it used to cause. This is definitely an adult read although the adult scenes are masked enough to allow a younger audience admittance. For more reviews from the bookish mama, please click here.

I didn't know what to expect coming into this book. I have always wanted to travel to Europe and Italy in particular so when I read the blurb, I was definitely interested as an armchair traveler. The author, Kathryn Kay, spent five years living in Florence, Italy post-college where she studied restoration and gilding. She fills this story with so many intricate details about Florence and gilding that sometimes it is very easy to think tha For more reviews from the bookish mama, please click here.

She fills this story with so many intricate details about Florence and gilding that sometimes it is very easy to think that it is a true story even though it is fictional.

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I enjoyed Part 1 of the story a lot because the main character, Marina, is young and innocent as she begins her life in Florence to study gilding. I especially love the details of her life in Florence in the bohemian world as an artist. She develops friendships and relationships with some very interesting characters in Florence that have a huge impact on her life later because of the decisions she's made along the way.

I enjoyed how the author flashes us back from the first chapter because you know what to expect, but you don't know how it's going to happen. At the same time, I was a little bit overwhelmed by all the art terms and vocabulary. I found myself on Wikipedia a lot just to get a better idea of what to picture in my mind when Marina was working on a project. I was also uncomfortable as it explored Marina's relationship with Sarah because it was unexpected for me.

In the 2nd part of the story, Marina is given the invitation to go back to Florence again much later in life and she does not want to take her teenage daughter, Zoe, because she has done everything to protect her from the truth. However, Zoe feels like she deserves to know the truth about her father. This challenges their relationship as mother and daughter because Marina's past and present come crashing together despite all that she has done to hide the weaknesses in her life which is symbolic in the work she does as a gilder.

Overall, I enjoyed this read about women, friendship, betrayal, and redemption, but it didn't quite grab me in the way I hoped it would. Jan 11, Nancy Narma rated it really liked it. Her Mother owns a gallery and was not surprised when young Marina showed great talent. She had been warned that perhaps she would not be accepted as an apprentice, especially being a young female.

After finding an apartment and a language school prior to locating a gilding course, Marina set out to explore the city. Little did she know the adventures and life-altering situations ahead would lead to years of lies, stress, deceit, and guilt! Especially after meeting talented photographer; Thomas and his beautiful, spirited wife; Sarah!

We build our own frames in house and can cater to a wide range of unique framing needs.

Fifteen years later, when she is invited to speak about her accomplishments in gilding at a very prestigious Conference in her beloved Florence, memories of the past haunt her every moment. Will she ever resolve the shadows which have followed her for so long? If you are like me and have not had the opportunity to visit Florence or Italy for that matter , Ms. You will be ready to shake a character or two?

I was very torn about this book. It's a quick read and the story sounded really good from the blurb. I loved that the book took place in Italy. The setting was definitely intriguing. And I really liked the storyline about Marina trying to come to terms with what happened between her and Thomas even though he was no longer around to make ammends for his own mistakes. I think that struggle was really well written and is relatable for a lot of people. I liked parts of it definitely but didn't like t I was very torn about this book. I liked parts of it definitely but didn't like that basically what you see in the blurb is what you get.

I think that blurbs should leave a little bit of mystery to the book that's why we read, no? We're intrigued about the story. I felt like I knew what was going to happen way too often before it happened and because I felt like I knew what was going to happen, it sort of took me out of the world of the book. I also am not sure that the reactions of the various characters looking at the situation that they were in.

I realize that it took a lot for Marina to say what happened between her and Sarah's late husband, Thomas, to Sarah but I felt like Sarah was way too calm about the whole thing. I thought that there could have been more grappling with the idea of what actually happened as it would be more realistic. I would have also like to know a little bit more about the characters themselves.

In the book, we get to see their interactions but not really who they are or why they do what they do. For instance, Marina falls hard for Sarah as a young woman but isn't ready to put a sexual preference label on herself. That has to be a difficult thing to come to terms with but even after almost 10 years, Marina still won't say if she's bisexual or gay to her friend, who happens to be a lesbian as well as someone who is supposed to be one of Marina's closest confidants. It just was interesting. Still an okay read. View all 3 comments. Nov 26, Donna Hatridge rated it really liked it.

I received this book free from Kensington publishers. The book is scheduled for release in January The author Kathryn Kay spent five years living in Florence Italy and it shows in this book. She describes so clearly the streets, houses, churches and cemeteries that you feel as if you are actually there.

In this book we are taken back to when Marina was 22, young impressionable and wanting more than anything to study and improve her gilding under master artist. We get to see how her time and I received this book free from Kensington publishers. We get to see how her time and experiences in Italy shaped her into the woman she is today. We see her lessons in friendship, betrayal, forgiveness and love. In Marina Nesmith's skilled hands, even the most tarnished picture frame or objet d'art can be made perfect once again.

Feb 21, Julie Barrett rated it it was amazing. The Gilder by Kathryn Kay craftsman who works with gold and silver to artistically cover an object as in the gold leaf process. This book is about such a gilder in Florence. She left the US to go study abroad and sinks herself in deep in Florence.

She has studied the museums, cathedrals, etc and runs into a photographer and his wife and meets up with them often. They help her not only get an apartment but a job in the field so she can learn. She does a lot of different jobs also and loves where sh The Gilder by Kathryn Kay craftsman who works with gold and silver to artistically cover an object as in the gold leaf process.

She does a lot of different jobs also and loves where she lives and where she is learning the trade.

Goes from season to season and all the changes that take place in her work and in her life. The cover captured my attention first: Shuttered windows in red, just very striking. Title also grabbed my attention as I've always wondered if i could ever be a gilder. I know I have the patience for it and some of my work alongside a printer is some of the same tedious work, in a way. Many of our frames are designed specifically for floating modern paintings.

It is essential to create a setting that is in tune with the artwork, and does not interfere with how the work wants to express itself. We believe that the function of the frame is to bring out the intrinsic quality of the work, and to allow the viewer to connect with it. Protecting the artwork is a major function of the frame. When proper framing techniques and materials are used it is possible to slow the effects of time and to minimize the impact any handling has on the work. We collaborate with experienced conservators to properly assess the condition of the work and possible need for treatment.

We provide these additional services: We offer pick-up and delivery in Toronto, and can help arrange for shipping and crating service. We also build plinths and pedestals, and offer custom-made acrylic cases and boxes, welded aluminum frames, and keyed wood stretchers, as well as a stretching service. The objective was for the museum to have a set of standard frames in which to exhibit their exquisite collection of works on paper.

We designed a walnut frame using a very slim moulding with a sensuous and timeless french polish finish buffed to a very soft sheen.