Van Gogh Today: Short Stories: How Van Gogh still touches our Daily Lives (Secrets of Van Gogh Book 3)
Written by Kelly Cole Rappleye
I really enjoyed the marriage of a discussion of one of my favorite artists intertwined with stories explaining the influence of this man’s work on the lives of six very different individuals.
For example, Lily Evans is a young girl of twenty who is passionate about both art and her writing, but she cannot find the correct path to channel her passions. A chance visit to Van Gogh’s art show at The Hermitage Museum allows her to view his painting, “The Pink Orchard.” She realizes that Van Gogh never gave up on finding enjoyment in life. Her depression is lifted and her writer’s block removed. Another character named Brett Smith is a wealthy businessman in New York City. Behind the scenes, Brett has just returned from one year of rehabilitation from cocaine and alcohol addiction and is attempting to readjust to his former lifestyle. He is inspired by a friend’s prized possession, Van Gogh’s painting, “The Little Stream,” painted just one year before the artist’s death. Reverend Dan is a minister who works at Juvenile Hall and attempts to give the troubled youth something positive to keep them on the right track. The minister showed them Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” to display an example of the beauty of this world that can be found anywhere, even if one grows up in the ghetto.
Van Gogh is one of the world’s most talented artists, but he never received recognition during his life and spent a large part of it living in poverty and depression. At the same time he was driven to share a positive image of the world around us. Rappleye, in my opinion, has written a unique and inspiring work that shares photographs and insights from Van Gogh’s life and work, while at the same time creating interesting characters who change their lives as a result of his influence.
I recommend this book to tweens, teens and adults who are interested in learning about a gifted artist, and who are also willing to open their minds to exploring the influence of art on our thinking and everyday lives.
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