“We hear how timid Connie started out with dissecting frogs and her transformation (much like pottery) she is being shaped into the woman she is today.” ~ Cayce Hrivnak
Book Description: A literary novel.
Cover features sculpture ‘Small Things’ by Sam Jinks.
Connie lives in a modern day harem with her ex, the next two wives and their five children. It’s a ‘sensible’ arrangement that cracks when a new woman arrives on the scene. Is this one wife too many?
Connie struggles with the realisation she must finally let her husband go. As she builds her last collection of ceramics, Connie reflects on longing, serial monogamy and his career as a herpetologist.
Humans have much in common with frogs. Metamorphosis parallels the reactions of mud and glaze in a kiln. Man of Clay is about family, frogs and art. The kiln fires hotter than the crematorium.
~ Review by J. Linson
The book’s description really piqued my interest, particularly the line “Humans have much in common with frogs.” It seemed that the author wanted to use unconventional parallels and analogies to draw conclusions about the human experience, and that’s exactly what “Man of Clay” does.
The protagonist, Connie, is a sculptor who had a long relationship and a child, Peter, with a herpetologist named Jude who cycles through romantic partners. Connie reflects on her past, reminiscing on the first time she met Jude, the first time she met his mother, etc, to gain meaning.
She also contemplates sculpting and herpetology as analogies for aspects of life, driving the reader to make unexpected connections. Written in first-person, Osborne uses poignant, descriptive writing to relay raw emotion to the reader.
The narrative’s tendency to introduce historical and scientific information in an emotional context continually provides the reader with fresh perspectives. If you like contemplative novels about life, you’ll really enjoy this beautifully written, unique story.