Myla Goldberg comes to the blog with a story of artistry, struggle, family and obsession with
Feast Your Eyes
Firstly, let me say that I love this author’s work, and the ‘what you think it will be’ is far more complex than the actuality. This is a story of the photographer Lillian Preston, and the varied sobriquets applied to her life – detailed from those who knew/know of her – often in that very ‘judgmental’ downplaying of her as a mother and an artist.
She left home in 1955 and went to New York to photograph – and the chase for the ‘perfect’ image that would encapsulate the struggles, the beauty and the darkness within was a never-ending quest. Difficult to piece all the parts together at first: the descriptions bring visual imagery to the forefront, and the story is one of a struggle against prestigious odds, almost to the point of obesession.
Narration for this story was an ensemble cast, making the ‘determination of who is speaking what parts a bit difficult. The ensemble included the author, Samantha Desz, Lisa Flanagan, Joy Osmanski, Jacques Roy, and Candace Thaxton. The use of individual and different voices held interest, and the inflections and variations in tone helped to ‘tell’ the story and bring attention to moments, that individually are difficult but very impactful. An interesting listen that had me running to google to see her work, wishing I could walk the halls of the MoMA to see what was so beautifully described.
Stars: Overall 5 Narration 4 Story 5
Title: Feast Your Eyes
Author: Myla Goldberg
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction
Narrator: Candace Thaxton, Jacques Roy, Joy Osmanski, Lisa Flanagan, Myla Goldberg, Samantha Desz
Published by: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published on: 16 April, 2019
Source: Simon and Schuster Audio
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 17 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
The first novel in nearly a decade from Myla Goldberg, the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Bee Season—a compelling and wholly original story about a female photographer grappling with ambition and motherhood, a balancing act familiar to women of every generation.
Feast Your Eyes, framed as the catalogue notes from a photography show at the Museum of Modern Art, tells the life story of Lillian Preston: “America’s Worst Mother, America’s Bravest Mother, America’s Worst Photographer, or America’s Greatest Photographer, depending on who was talking.” After discovering photography as a teenager through her high school’s photo club, Lillian rejects her parents’ expectations of college and marriage and moves to New York City in 1955. When a small gallery exhibits partially nude photographs of Lillian and her daughter Samantha, Lillian is arrested, thrust into the national spotlight, and targeted with an obscenity charge. Mother and daughter’s sudden notoriety changes the course of both of their lives and especially Lillian’s career as she continues a life-long quest for artistic legitimacy and recognition.
Narrated by Samantha, Feast Your Eyes reads as a collection of Samantha’s memories, interviews with Lillian’s friends and lovers, and excerpts from Lillian’s journals and letters—a collage of stories and impressions, together amounting to an astounding portrait of a mother and an artist dedicated, above all, to a vision of beauty, truth, and authenticity.
ONE OF NPR’S BEST BOOKS OF 2019
2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence Finalist
A copy of this title was provided via Simon and Schuster Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.