2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
David Banks, a dealer of arts and a gallery owner, has a goal and a desire to transform his city, Dallas. In the first chapter, David is attending a conference at the Dallas Museum of Art. The delegates in the conference, the city’s top officials and philanthropists, are on a mission to reform Dallas.
Immanence by Sherryl Brown is a work of fiction that is driven by art. The book has 41 chapters that revolve around the life of David, his family, and friends. David’s parents (Avis and Frank Banks) were among the wealthiest families in Mineral Wells, where they lived. Their three children (Elaine, David, and Julia) grew up and moved to different areas in pursuit of their dreams. Unlike his two sisters, David had a deep appreciation of art that later made him pursue a career in art against his father’s wishes. He owes his success to his mother, who supported him wholeheartedly. The author used David’s love for art, his failures, and success as the thread that brings several pieces of fabric together to create a beautiful outfit: a socially and economically affluent city of Dallas.
I loved that the author merged two different worlds to create such an intriguing book. David’s professional engagements bring other players into the story that drive the socioeconomic state of Dallas. For instance, the top city officials and philanthropists came together to propel David’s vision for the city. On the other hand, David’s family gives a different dimension to the book. It portrays all the struggles that families go through and how one has to strike a balance between his/her career and family engagements.
A special feature of the book that I truly appreciated was the inclusion of memoirs written by Avis Banks and Elaine Banks. The memoirs revealed many secrets that had been hidden from the rest of the family. They left me with questions, such as ‘Is it possible to live with someone for many years and fail to know certain things that shape their character?’ and ‘At what point does someone decide to push all their hurdles to the furthest file in their mind and move on with life?’. I felt sad when I learned that Elaine had been molested by his father but none of the other family members knew about it until after her death. My heart sank when I realized that some children would rather lock their old parents out of their lives by placing them in a care facility. I loathed both David and Julia who went on with their activities as usual even after their mother was rushed to the hospital in a critical condition. At what point do human beings draw the line between the love of their career and that of their family?
The thing I disliked most about Immanence is that there are several inconsistencies in the book. For instance, Chapter 14 gives a detailed account of the activities of the last day of the conference. The morning session begins at 8:20 AM and ends at 11:45 AM when the delegates break for lunch. Later on, in Chapter 16, the author began narrating the events of the same day, with the same characters and the same timing. There were also repetitions about certain aspects, especially in the life of David. Such instances show that the book was not professionally edited. An editor would have eliminated the inconsistencies and the several grammatical errors that I noted while reading the book.
Overall, I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. I didn’t give it a higher score because of the errors in the development of the plot. In several instances, the novel assumed a textbook format that the author used to document most of the presentations made at the featured conference. The format made the content of the book quite hard to grasp. The memoirs included in the novel and David’s passion for art fueled my interest to continue reading the book. That is why I did not give it a lower score. I recommend it to all art enthusiasts.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon