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Changing Heaven

Building on the reputation she established so resonantly in her first novel, The Whirlpool, Jane Urquhart now takes the reader on a magical and daring voyage - one that leads from the English moors (where the memory of Emily Bronte is as dark as it is magical) to Venice and modern-day Toronto. Changing Heaven tells the store of Ann, a young Bronte scholar, and of her doomed love affair with Arthur, an art historian obsessed with Tintoretto. Interwoven with this is the tragic, parallel tale of Arianna Ether, a turn-of the-century balloonist in love with the brooding Jeremy. These are no simple love stories: for as in the paintings of Tintoretto, light and shadow themselves become palpable forces; and as in the novels of Bronte, love and its storms (literal and figurative) take on transcendent meaning. Jane Urquhart masterfully blurs the lines between reality and memory, sequential time and imagined time, to produce a rich and powerful meditation on the act of artistic creation, the ways in which myths enter our lives, and the cyclical nature of love. Changing Heaven is a deeply moving work, by an author who is willing to test not only the limits of the conventional novel, but also the sensibilities of the reader - a writer able to throw a bridge between past and present, heaven and earth, and to do it with breathtaking skill.
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