“I love the way Alcina shows how the key protagonists are altruistic and yet deeply flawed. It reminded me of the famous St Augustine quote, “Lord, let me be pure but not yet.” She does a marvellous job with this conundrum.” – Deirdre Quiery
Tiago’s had enough of corporate life. He’s going to be a saint.
Ruthless and rich, a seal-pup cute young Turk of the trading floor, he’s got killer plans to restore global economic justice that will get him a harp to set off his Tom Ford suit.
But lovesick Tiago can’t get started until he’s convinced urbane art dealer Raphael Davide they’d make a fantastic power couple.
Raphael’s a slave to beauty with his own designs on the undeserving rich – but his suave exterior belies a brittle heart. His bluestocking sister Clara and her husband Rob would lay down their lives to protect him. And Raphael’s reluctant ex, cracked rocket scientist Tomas Paul Gosele, may know enough about Tiago’s grubby past to blow everything sky high.
Our hero needs friends he can trust. Good job his new neighbour Amelia Postthridge seems a nice enough girl, as gene stackers go. But Amelia’s an apple-obsessed tadpole torturer who prefers trees to people – and she’ll chew up Tiago and spit out the pips to achieve her own plans.
Beauty, Love and Justice is Alcina Faraday’s compelling debut tale of love, ambition, honesty and deceit and is available NOW!
BOOK REVIEW – “BEAUTY, LOVE & JUSTICE” – ALCINA FARADAY
By Deirdre Quiery
Alcina Faraday is a scientist and business woman who, with her novel “Beauty, Love and Justice” invites the reader to sink into a world of paradox where culture and debauchery are sides of a single coin. The novel describes the complexity of the search innate within the human psyche to know what is beauty, to find true love and to act with justice to restore harmony in a world shaken, flawed and distorted by inequality.
These great themes are explored through the searching for love by the principal characters – Rafael, an artist and, Tiago a trader on the floor of the seedy world of business. As the world shakes from the aftershock of the global crisis of 2008, Alcina through her characters is visceral in her ability to convey the emptiness of a world which puts profit and self-centred gain ahead of our potential for beauty, love and justice. I particularly liked the scene when Tiago brings Rafael to his Office beside the trading floor and Alcina captures the depression of people caught in a world of making money and where in doing so, they have lost their souls. Small touches like the debris of an Office environment, the shabbiness where people spend most of their lives is a powerful in contrast against a world which is beautiful.
I love the way Alcina shows how the key protagonists are altruistic and yet deeply flawed. It reminded me of the famous St Augustine quote, “Lord, let me be pure but not yet.” She does a marvellous job with this conundrum. Tiago in particular is convincing in his high ideals for love and beauty yet his difficulty in extracting himself from a world of sensual desire and dissipation. The image which came to my mind was one of a fly being attracted to a sticky fly trap. Once its legs have landed on that roll of sticky paper – how difficult it is for it to be once again free.
I found Rafael’s anger realistic. Alcina through her characters and plot, raises awareness in the reader’s mind of how easily the best intentions for justice become derailed by self-righteousness and anger. There is ugliness in anger which is the opposite of what her characters aspire to in their pursuit of beauty. This is one of the key strengths in the novel – Alcina’s ability to enter into a world of paradox which I really enjoyed. The reader finds themselves asking “What is beauty?” Is it the beauty of body or mind? Rafael’s looks are fading. Tiago’s will also with time. Is there a beauty which goes beyond physical beauty and is eternal? What does it look like? What is love? How does it relate to sexual desire? How does human love differ from Divine love and desire?
Alcina finds a golden thread which spins Tiago, Rafael, Thomas Paul, Clara and Rob into a web of relationships which connect to what is most human in us and also to what is most Divine. I felt the call of the ancient Greeks asking us not to forget the depths of our human heritage our capacity for beauty, love and justice, bouncing off the greed and corruption of a trading floor.
Looking forward to the sequel!
Alcina Faraday is a scientist, businesswoman and stepmother who writes literary fiction about the redeeming power of love and the disturbing possibilities of modern scientific reality.
Her Spiral Wound Trilogy “Beauty, Love and Justice”, “These Modern Girls” and “The Commodity Fetish” follows a cultured rabble of unhinged, uncool, reality-averse GenX/Y outliers as they seek success and heroism, survive squalor and indignity, have a few laughs, and – mostly – emerge relatively unscathed from the moshpit of modern life in Paris, London and Lisbon.
Alcina lives in London and Devon with her engineer husband and a small colony of palmate newts.
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