“Rich, imaginative. . . . One of the best novels I’ve read all year.”—Ross King, author of Leonardo and the Last Supper
A sensuous, heartbreaking novel about art, beauty, and the choices we make that define us for life.
In 1968 a young man travels to Paris, where a series of unlikely events takes him to a tiny village in Italy—and to the one great love of his life. A marble merchant meets a couple on their honeymoon, introducing them to the sensual beauty of Carrara. An Italian woman arrives in Canada to find the father she never knew. A terrible accident in a marble quarry changes the course of a young boy’s life and, ultimately, sets in motion each of these stories, which David Macfarlane masterfully shapes into a magnificent whole.
“A beautifully written, complex, and bittersweet story that spans continents and eras.”—Daphne Kalotay, author of Russian Winter and Sight Reading
“A complex, densely written and dreamlike narrative…. A moving tale of love, fate and regret.”
“A meditation on the degree to which we mortals really lack much control over our lives…Sub-textually, Figures of Beauty is also an aesthetic treatise of the human impulse to make beauty, to create art. And Macfarlane tells this story in a deeply affecting way.”
“The Figures of Beauty is a rich, imaginative novel about art, life and beauty. It’s epic in scale but intimate in tone, with Macfarlane’s prose as crisp and pure as Carrara marble. One of the best novels I’ve read all year.”
“A beautifully written, complex, and bittersweet story that spans continents and eras. Macfarlane teases his story to the surface as meticulously as his sculptors (Michelangelo, Brancusi) extracted their forms from marble - and always with a vivid sense of place, from a small Ontario community to the hill towns of Carrera.”
“Macfarlane sculpts several disparate tales into a smooth, rock-solid whole. His ambitions are high, but in a language as rich as the fruits of the scenic landscapes in which he situates his characters and their stories, he pulls off a far grander narrative with skill and intrigue.”
“Macfarlane skillfully evokes an atmosphere at once somber and slightly ominous.”
Praise for The Danger Tree: “About the best prose to ever come out of this country, for my money.”
“Summer Gone is a homage to our most excruciating and beautiful memories. Within this novel is the marvellous height of summer, perfect and fleeting, a place and time we can never get enough of.”
“A beautifully contemplative first novel about fathers and sons, memory, and the spirituality of wilderness.”