Synopsis of Painting Juliana by Martha Louise Hunter
Stop running, stand still and let the funnel cloud suck you up inside.
Juliana Birdsong is your typical eight-year-old with an obsessive- compulsive mother who's too paranoid to leave the house. Making double-lined, black-out drapes to protect their home from the outside world, her mother only looks up from her sewing machine when Perry Mason comes on TV, the type of successful lawyer she says Juliana should marry if she ever wants to get anywhere in life.
But little Juliana has other things to worry about. Night after night she's awakened by the same terrifying dream, where she's chased down a long, tapering highway on the back of her father's motorcycle, heading for an enormous, twisting funnel cloud that waits on the horizon. When Juliana believes she's finally locked the dream away inside her bedside drawer, she can't help wondering if there are parts of the dream she hasn't seen yet.
Following her mother's script in her head, years later Juliana finds dynamic trial lawyer Oliver Morrissey, and she marries him for love. Life is clicking along reasonably well for the privileged socialite, that is until she's faced with losing everything, including their children who her husband's doing his best to turn against her. Forced out of the house, she hugs them close and tells them, this is temporary, and I'll be back.
Juliana steps out of her Lexus, peels off her Chanel sunglasses and glares up at her weathered childhood home that's now smothered in thick layers of ivy. Inside, there's only her distant, estranged CPA father left, who she just knows caused her mother's mysterious death.
Moving in, Juliana discovers a nude portrait of her mother with a curious set of tiny red footprints on the ankle. And, there's another surprise she hadn't counted on: Her father has Alzheimer's disease, and he needs her. Desperate for her children and consumed with his round-the-clock care, Juliana struggles to get her old life back.
Things change when a puzzling shipment of oil paintings arrives, all with her father's signature, but he only stares at them for weeks, hardly uttering a word. Anxious for him to prove that he paints, Juliana puts a brush in his hand, and it sets off a surreal time warp; the canvases paint a far different picture of the parents she thought she knew. When she realizes that their secrets and yearnings mirror her own, her old demons come back to haunt her.
Hit with devastating loss and betrayals, her old life stripped away, the dream is still chasing Juliana, and it's catching up fast. But returning to her old life, what else will she lose? Just when she can't run any faster, the funnel cloud is still waiting on the horizon twisting even faster than before.
Painting Juliana, A Novel is published by Goldminds Publishing of Nashville, Tennessee.
Awesome novel! Hopefully, a screen play is in the future. Whom would they cast as Juliana? —Amazon Reader Review
"Am in the vortex of all the shining images. The drunk scene was frighteningly real. All of those shards." –Barnes & Noble Reader Review
“It's a painful journey but Juliana gets there kicking and screaming with plenty of irreverent humor. You'll laugh and your heart will break." –Goodreads Reader Review