Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma by Carol K. Walsh (A Memoir). Berkeley, She Writes Press, 2016. 225 pages. "Questions for Book Clubs" **** Pre-order at Amazon
Walsh's story is a mesmerizing one beginning with the death of her fiance in a local indoor pool after meeting to discuss their wedding plans. Drawing from her experience as an artist, Carol creates a format to explain the creative process of "painting a life" and working through her personal trauma. Starting from an early age, she felt as if she didn't belong in her family. Consulting her mother's letters written to her father during World War II, family home movies, boxes of old photographs and personal journals, Carol recalls her childhood and at times analyzes it as a therapist. Because she wanted a boy when Carol was born, her controlling mother went so far as to write "male" on Carol's birth certificate. The error was discovered when Carol applied for a marriage license.
This is one of those books that you will pick up and continue reading until you reach the end. Her story is compelling and analytical at times, however, relatable for most women. Trying to find herself and live with the choices she makes as a wife, mother, artist, and therapist, she has expanded her career to include "Create-A-Vision" coaching and this outlook is clearly represented in her writing. "Questions for Book Clubs" are included and this will make an excellent read for self-awareness or women's book groups to discuss. This is Walsh's third book and I look forward to what comes next!
I received an Advance Reader Copy for a review.
Carol K. Walsh graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA. As a serious artist, she wrote and illustrated a hard cover book for fiber artists, Designing for Weaving, published by Hastings House of New York. Later, Walsh graduated from Catholic University of America with an MSW and opened a private practice. As a therapist, she wrote and self-published The Art of Awakening Spirit. Walsh has been happily married for twenty-two years and is the proud mother of two daughters and four grandchildren. She lives in Maryland.