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Blissby Gabrielle Pina
Synopses & Reviews
“Sometimes a lie is the best thing.”
Francesca Valentine is a successful, beautiful, world-renowned violinist. But when her perfect life is shattered, she must confess to a history of carefully calculated deception.
Claudine Jenkins was a musical prodigy who clung to her one true love—a violin given to her by her aunt Hattie Mae. Claudine grew up protecting herself from the tauntings of her father and her twin brother by eating herself into obesity. Her mother was an alcoholic who was indifferent to her, at best. But all that would soon change.
Feared by most, yet adored for her exotic beauty, Hattie Mae Jones remained a mystery even to those who thought they knew her best. But when her dark past threatened to destroy her perfectly laid plans for the future, she became determined to have her way. Would she have gone as far as committing murder?
What happens when three generations of lies come to the surface? Power, deceit, greed, and lust collide—leaving you with sheer Bliss.
A famous violinist with wealth, beauty, two successful children, and a loving fiancae, Francesca Valentine confronts emotional upheaval after the death of her longtime companion as she is faced with revealing dark secrets from the past.
Three women--a talented violinist, an obese daughter, and an exotic beauty--vie for happiness and survival in this intertwined debut tale of dreams, illusions, and murder.
About the Author
1. Pina opens Bliss with the line "Sometimes a lie is the best thing". What does she mean? In the end, was lying the best policy? Was there a time when lies no longer served to better Hattie or Claudines lives?
2. In her struggle to survive, Hattie's determination to succeed leaves no room for idleness or pleasure. When she finally escapes Georgia, she does not relinquish her steely resolve and the single-mindedness she developed there never really fades. Why can't she leave her past behind and start anew?
3. Claudine's life is never wholly her own. Hattie orchestrated many of the most important moments, and in some ways, lives her own life through Claudine's. Was Hattie using Claudine? Was she selfish?
4. In some ways, Hattie has saved and destroyed Claudine's life. How is this?
5. As much as Bliss is about love between mother and daughter, it is equally about the enduring power of hate. The hate Hattie feels for the governor motivates many of her actions. How important is hatred in creating Hattie's strength? In his own way, does the governor also hate Hattie?
6. Claudine's childhood was full of harsh words from those in and outside of her family. When Willy Earl shows his interest in her, Claudine is willing to forgive almost anything. How important is Willy Earl in saving Claudine? Would she have been better off without him?
7. Hattie never experienced a loving relationship and was unable to understand the value of Claudine and Francesco's love. Was their relationship appropriate? If Claudine did not give up Francesco would she have achieved the same success?
8. Claudine and Hattie re-invent themselves in Italy to leave their past behind. Do they succeed? Can you ever truly escape your past?
9. As governor, Harlan has the power to manipulate those around him, and this is what he loves about Hattie. Does he ever truly love her? Is it possible for him to ever understand her? Does he have any redeemable qualities?
10. Claudine's weight provides her with a sense of security — a cushion between her and the rest of her world. How else does she survive her childhood? Could Hattie have imagined the level of emotional abuse Claudine would suffer as a child?
11. Bliss is a story of triumph over adversity; Claudine becomes a renowned violinist despite Hattie's virtual imprisonment by the governor and the economic hardships of her family. What was the price of this success? How many people are destroyed by her climb to the top?
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