Read The Reconstruction of Wilson Ryder by Michael R. French Online


Wilson Ryder is the compelling story of a physically disfigured artist's search for creative self-expression as he struggles for success in the New York art world and escape from the shadow of his mother, a now-famous painter who had abandoned him as a child....

Title : The Reconstruction of Wilson Ryder
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781480037618
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 292 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Reconstruction of Wilson Ryder Reviews

  • Danielle Tremblay
    2019-06-07 05:28

    (view spoiler)[Life for five-year-old Will Ryder is defined by a face left horribly disfigured by fire. Though his English professor father and precocious sister comfort and support him, the mother who abandoned them all can never be forgotten. Growing up, Will believes that looking at him is what drove her away.When a psychologist urges him to explore his memory of the fire, he chooses instead to suppress its pain and trauma. Will takes up painting for both solace and a refuge from bullying at school, and finds a path that offers a different kind of struggle to find his own identity as an artist and a man. His talent brings his mother, now a famous abstract expressionist, back into his life, and he discovers the real reason she fled from her family. Despite warnings from his father, he allows her role in his life to grow, leading to unexpected opportunity and a strange bond shaped by the artistic fires that drive them both. Struggling to develop his ability, he must choose between the philosophies and ideals of his two very different parents—the father who raised him with loving care and the mother who considers feelings and emotions only roadblocks on an artist’s creative path.Will’s talent grows as he acts out his anger. Struggling in the competitive art world of Chicago and New York, he desperately seeks his mother’s love and acceptance but instead must live with the only help she is able to give: subsistence money and the harsh counsel that has painfully shaped her own life. An artist’s true way, she insists, must be through adversity. A brutal physical attack that leaves his family in crisis, and an eccentric girl whose strange wildness he comes to love, help lead Will to a series of bold, cathartic, searingly honest self-portraits—embracing the face he's always run from. (hide spoiler)]What is beauty? What is ugliness? For someone like me, living with an artist, these are key questions, even existential issues. And how do you express what you feel? Is it best to tell it in words or in images? Doesn't we say: "One picture is worth a thousand words"? And an artist's universe isn't it one of struggle for acceptance, as Wilson Ryder's life is? To grow in this universe, doesn't it mean not to rely on everybody around you to know if you're beautiful or not, if your work is beautiful or not, but to assert by yourself your own choices, your own value and your own identity? These are all questions that this book make you ask to yourself.The author's writing is very good. He succeeds to make you live inside his characters' minds, through their emotions and feelings. You feel like being one of their close friends. I let myself carried away by this story as one lets oneself carried by a boat to a strange island where all feels at once familiar and new.I give this story 4½ stars rounded up to 5.

  • Christine
    2019-05-18 04:34

    Once I picked this book up I did not want to put it down. I found myself trying to sneak in an extra few pages of reading every chance I got. The Ryders seemed so alive and real to me. I felt a connection to the characters and cared about them so much that it was hard for me to stop reading. As the mother of a child with cleft lip and palate I could relate to fierce protectiveness of Will’s father and sister. I understand that animal instinct that takes over when someone cruelly harms your child. I could also relate to the delicate balancing act of trying to protect them from the hurt you know the world will eventually inflict on them and allowing them the freedom to grow into all they can be.As the book progresses we watch as Will grows from an isolated overprotected child to an confident up and coming artist. Though the three of them were very much in their own little world in the beginning Will and Hannah eventually assert their independence and leave the safety of their father’s nest. Through the years they drift further and further apart then come back together closer and stronger than ever.Throughout the book Will is in a constant struggle for acceptance, desperately seeking the approval and acceptance of his distant mother. He also seeks to be accepted by society for who he is and not what he looks like. Inside himself he battles onwards towards self-acceptance.This was the first Michael French book for me so I had no expectations. I was pleasantly surprised by what I read. Mr. French has a great gift for writing. He was not only able to keep me interested from the first page onward; he took me inside the book. This was a complex family drama with multiple layers of emotion and trauma that revealed themselves throughout. I was so deeply moved by this story that I did not want it to end. This book has left a mark on me. I will carry it with me for a long time to come. Add this to your reading list. You will not be disappointed. It’s definitely a must read book.FYI- I received an advance copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.

  • Antimidas
    2019-05-19 07:29

    This book ranks right up there with To Kill a Mockingbird. Has this yet been nominated for any literary awards such as the Pulitzer or Booker Prize?I received this book for free from a Goodreads giveaway. I have not been compensated for this review.Oh my God! I want to read this book over and over and over again! The only other book I feel the same way about is Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird."A touch of Holden Caulfield, a smidge of Phillip Pirrip and a dash of Jean Louise "Scout" Finch. And let's not forget to throw in Miss Havisham as the distant mother figure. If I can be so egomaniacal to assume that the author snuck into my life and wrote a novel based on my self-perception, he could not have done better than this book. This is truly a masterpiece of character development.READ THIS BOOK! If you can only read a limited number of books this year, this one should be at the top of your list. By page four, I was thoroughly invested in the characters. I normally have to give a book until page fifty to see if I will stick with it. I am cautious to say much, because I want the reader to experience the full story for the first time by reading it like I did. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

  • Ali Brookes
    2019-05-25 03:22

    My cousin recommended The Reconstruction of Wilson Ryder to me. At first, I was hesitant to read it since my taste runs to suspense/mysteries. But I'm so glad I did pick up this character-rich page-turner. The author is a wonderful storyteller, and I found myself engaged by each member of the Ryder family. They will all stay in your mind long after you finish, particularly the narrator, Wilson, who sees the world in a very special way.

  • Polly White
    2019-06-01 08:30

    Michael French's writing style pulls the reader in easily from the beginning. Each character is uniquely fascinating. Wilson Ryder is a talented young artist who explores the art world and the perspective of beauty from the viewpoint of someone disfigured by burns as a small child. New Mexico, Chicago, and New York City provide the perfect cultural settings for the unfolding story of this young artist and his family through personal challenges and complex relationships. It's a great read.

  • Brad
    2019-06-18 03:17

    The Reconstruction of Wilson Ryder by Michael French is a well-written first-person narrative that chronicles the life of a physically and emotionally scarred boy from New Mexico who strives to make it in New York in the ultra-competitive world of fine-art painting. Wilson, the protagonist, is a survivor in every sense of the word. He has survived a devastating house fire that leaves his face permanently disfigured, forcing him to find his way as a pariah in a culture that values outward beauty more than substance and inward beauty. And he is a survivor of a troubled family of origin. His mother had abandoned him for New York and her own career in as a painter, most likely because she is repulsed by her own son's disfigurement. These circumstances leave him adrift and unsure of who he really is. Young Wilson overcomes many challenges in the process of reclaiming his identity. His life is, in essence, a testament to the ideas that we are all worthy of love, capable of love, and are, inside if not outside, beautiful. I suppose in a way, the novel is a modern rendition of the classic Beauty and the Beast story, but the Reconstruction of Wilson Ryder is, of course, considerably more complex and thought-provoking. Mr. French, who has written many books for both young adults and adults, is a skilled observer of detail and life's mystery, and he does a masterful job with the always-tricky first person point of view. He hits a home run by creating two distinct, believable worlds: the outer world and Wilson's tortured inner world. I highly recommend this book. For the sake of full disclosure, Mr. French is a friend of mine. But my opinion of the book would be just as high and my review equally positive were I not to know him. He is a fine writer who deserves to be widely read.

  • Susan
    2019-06-06 07:13

    This book is a first person narrative told from the point of view of one Will Ryder, a child and then a man physically and emotionally scarred from a young age, first by an accidental fire and then by the abrupt departure of his mother. Raised by his indulgent father and devoted sister Hannah, Will struggles to come to grips with his scars as he approaches adulthood. He eventually comes back into the orbit of his emotionally distant Mother, an acclaimed artist. She has sloughed off the responsibilities of Wife and Mother and also managed to avoid any other lasting emotional entanglements in her rise to fame. Will's attempts to regain her regard and to impress and please her are frequently frustrated by her inflexible facade and by his own ungoverned willfulness. Some of the events in the book were painful to witness, while Will develops from a self-centered attention-seeking child, through an eventfully rocky adolescence to a more thoughtful and emotionally balanced adulthood. The way is never easy but Will exhibits great strength of character throughout. The ending is uplifting and hopeful.This was the first book I have read by Michael French and I found it to be interesting, organized and very readable. It was hard to put the book down when I had to and I was glad to return to it when time allowed. I was always wanting find out what was going to happen next! I value that in an author.

  • Melody
    2019-05-25 06:25

    It's a struggle in the visual art world. Art should not just be about what looks beautiful. It is expressing a thought, feeling or emotion in a way that can't be expressed with just words. And those things are not always pretty. Some of the most interesting paintings don't fit the standard description of beautiful. This is what Wilson's life is like. He has had a rich and full life. He is very smart and talented. Buy he also has been burned and his face and his soul both carry the ugly scars. Wilson tries to reconstruct himself so that people will accept him despite his scarred face. He is also trying to reconstruct his relationship with his mother who is living with her own demons and is the one responsible for his disfigurement. I thought this was a wonderful, complex story that could have been excellent except it had many gaps and missing pieces.

  • Jasmine
    2019-05-21 07:27

    I found that every character involved with Will Ryder touched me. Each characterhad their individual struggles yet found the strength to continue to moveforward. Will began at a very early age with the struggle of fitting in due tohis disfigurement. Many young adults find themselves feeling as outcasts and notfitting in because society in general judges by appearance.The vivid and colorful descriptions of the art world was an added bonus. WhileWill Ryder no doubt had enormous talent he found solace in painting and studyingother great artists including his famous mother. Art therapy continues to be apopular form of therapy for depression even today. The art descriptions inspiredme to want to see some of the paintings mentioned.

  • Tamara Anderson
    2019-05-18 04:22

    Michael really brings to life Wilson Ryder as you are reading it you tend to forget that its a fictional character you start to think that its a real biography. Its a book full of pain and heartache and how one man tries to understand and overcome.Overall I liked this book however i thought that parts where drown out with lots of details and other parts that I would have liked more details. Definitely a thought provoking book making you double think how you view life and the world around you

  • Lynne
    2019-05-25 07:29

    3.5 stars, actually. Michael French's prose is clean, the story flows well, the characters are engaging--flawed, believable. I love how Will finds the artist in himself and emerges from adversity with his soul intact. I'm a sucker for stories about redemption through love and art, and this one didn't disappoint on that score.So why 3.5 stars instead of 4?The ending was just a little too pat for cynical, pessimistic me.

  • Emily Capeles
    2019-06-09 09:22

    I loved this goodreads giveaway book. The story of Wilson was full of surprises. I felt both the joys and sorrows that Wilson encountered. All in all this is a well written book that is a great read.

  • R. Clark
    2019-06-01 05:27

    If you like stories about family dynamics, modern art, overcoming obstacles and self-discovery, read this book! It's deftly imagined, artfully told and compelling to read.

  • Joy
    2019-05-25 10:28

    I really liked it. I've become so emotionally vested in the characters that I wish that the book had been longer.

  • Stephen
    2019-06-04 06:08

    Very good novel by an author I'd never heard of. Thank you for introducing me to such great books and writers.I won this book on goodreads!