Painted Dresses    -     By: Patricia Hickman
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Painted Dresses

WaterBrook Press / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Description

Crushed by a failed marriage, Gaylen Syler-Boatwright flees to her late aunt's mountain cottage. There, while seeking solace for life's disappointments, she discovers a mysterious gallery of framed painted dresses---enshrined with meaning known only to Aunt Amity. Joined by her capricious sister, Delia, Gaylen embarks on a search for far-flung family and forgotten secrets. 352 pages, softcover from Waterbrook.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 1400071992
ISBN-13: 9781400071999
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Weekly

Hickman's slow-paced but best novel since Katrina's Wings begins with protagonist Gaylen Boatwright, whose life is a mess. In her late 20s, she's called home to Boiling Waters, N.C., because of her father's death. When her unbalanced sister, Delia, shoots a woman, Gaylen decides to flee the law with her. Along the way, Gaylen and Delia deliver some unusual painted dresses their deceased aunt bequeathed to family friends and relatives, each dress symbolic of an incident in the past. These visits provide clues to the puzzle of Gaylen's life. With divorce papers in her pocket, she wonders about love, God, her sanity and the role of an incarcerated older brother in her nightmares. When the law catches up with Delia, Gaylen must determine whether her past will define her and what her future will hold. Hickman gamely unpacks the lies families tell each other, the cost of family secrets to ourselves and others, the bonds between sisters and the walls between husbands and wives. Her sparkling talent is evident in this engrossing story. (July) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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  1. saved by grace
    Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    warning!
    February 10, 2012
    saved by grace
    Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    I was extremely disappointed with this book. I felt uncomfortable and oppressed while reading it yet kept going in hopes that there would be a turning point... but there wasn't! It just went on and eventually came out with the disturbing story of the main character's molestation as a very young girl and her parents covering it up. It was unquestionably horrible and didn't even get around to a Christian message of hope. I felt unsettled and distressed after reading it. This is not (as some would have it) an author bravely dealing with a difficult subject... It's NOT "dealt" with, it's just taken out into broad daylight as if that will somehow fix things. Having been a victim of this crime, myself, I can speak with conviction that this is not the way to approach this subject. I would strongly recommend against purchasing or reading this book!
  2. cip5
    sc
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    February 6, 2012
    cip5
    sc
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    disappointed - have read other of her books and therefore purchased this one...
  3. Cindee
    Mt. Sterling, IL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Odd story line
    December 30, 2011
    Cindee
    Mt. Sterling, IL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 2
    This writer seemed to be a very good writer. But, from the description of the book and what the book was actually about disappointed me. If I would have known that the book would dwell on a specific storyline, I would not have purchased it. Because of this, parts of the book, I did not care for. I may try to read another of her books, but she does write with a different flare and somewhat unique. Just not quite my style.
  4. bookworm
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Not to my taste.
    October 17, 2011
    bookworm
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    I've read better stories. Just not my "type" of book.
  5. Wylla Carmichael
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    October 5, 2011
    Wylla Carmichael
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Not an easy to read book because it was hard to stay on point.
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Author/Artist Review

Author: Patricia Hickman
Located in: North Carolina
Submitted: July 27, 2008

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I write and speak. The Painted Dresses Road Tour will give me an opportunity to share my personal story behind Painted Dresses,a message I call "Stranger Than Fiction." My husband is a pastor. I have two grown sons. My youngest is just going off to college. It's a very melancholy time for a mom. We're a really close-knit family.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  I was on my own spiritual journey to understand my family and our past. Because my parents had both passed away, I was searching for answers that had been "painted over" by my parents. The yearning to understand the whys of family secrets became the internal landscape for Gaylen Boatwright's quest to understand her past.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  Covering over the past is not the same as having it redeemed. Christ came to redeem us but that is with all of our warts exposed. Once we allow God to fully inspect us, he can fully heal us. He sees it all anyway, so there's no point in hiding parts of ourselves from God.

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  God has brought me through an amazing journey; as a result he's give me a new understanding about a deeper grace that was available to me all along. Serving God now is no longer through a white-knuckle force of will or through earning brownie points for God. There's a difference in being "the good girl," and "made right before God." With the latter comes freedom.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  Philip Yancey's writings have made a major impact on me as well as Richard Foster. I'm indebted to the teachings of Anne Graham Lotz. When I was reeling in confusion many years ago over some extra-biblical teachings that had invaded where we worshiped, I immersed myself in God's Word through her teachings. God helped me find solid ground. I can't be fooled again and now I teach women's groups from this safe and sane doctrine. For my birthday last year, I immersed myself in her teachings at the Billy Graham Center's The Cove. She teaches at The Cove every fall in her "Filling Up To Overflow" conference.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  Painted Dresses is written for believers to pass on to your neighbors who may not know God. So as you read it, read it with a Christian worldview asking yourself what it must be like to be wounded and without God. Understand that it was written absent of "religious talk" for the woman who doesn't buy into or understand our codified language. Then pass Painted Dresses on to a woman who needs God's healing. Enjoy it for the sheer "Thelma and Louise" entertainment of the story, but then pass it on. Also, watch me on YouTube!

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