Queen Of The Owls by Barbara Linn Probst
is the story of Elizabeth, a doctoral candidate, wife and mother who appears to have it all. Always keeping up appearances, no one could guess how lonely and dissatisfied she’s feeling in her marriage, that she’s on a potential fast track to disaster. Or, that losing everything might just lead to the true fulfillment she’s been seeking.
Choosing a segment of artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s career for her dissertation, she feels it important to immerse herself in all areas of O’Keeffe’s life to hopefully gain insight, better understand the work from the artist’s point of view. Becoming increasingly dissatisfied in her own life, she becomes drawn to the nudes taken by Georgia’s then boyfriend Alfred Steiglitz. The idea of stripping one’s self bare and shamelessly looking into the lens for all to see, to become someone no one could deny, became fascinating.
A chance meeting with a attractive photographer and conversations with him about the O’Keefe photos made it all the more tempting. But as her interest grew with both the photos and the photographer, her need to give in, to feel completely alive, grew as well. While the experience might temporarily satisfy her growing personal need for validation, would it be worth the cost? Or, is she simply an unhappy woman giving in to the temptation of an affair with a handsome man?
Most women will find something to identify with in this book, fans of Georgia O’Keeffe as well as those who have never heard of her. This story touches on a woman’s relationship as wife, mother, sister, teacher, student. Educated and naive. Strong, confident, timid and unsure. Being a woman is complex, no one aspect can over ride the others. Except perhaps the need to be true to herself, regardless of consequence.
This is an insightful well written, well researched book that speaks to the complexities of today’s woman. I recommend for any woman who’s struggled with meeting internal and external expectations, while still honoring their personal needs and desires.
Queen Of The Owls by Barbara Linn Probst. She Writes Press. Available April 7, 2020