A Clear Range of Vision
by Sharyn Heagle

‘Listen to your gut, if you don’t believe Angels are guiding you, believe in your primal instinct for survival!’

‘A Clear Range of Vision’

The story line of A Clear Range of Vision follows the main character Lacey, after her divorce from Ben. An artist at heart, Lacey is employed waiting tables to support herself and educate her now young adult children, Kelley & Kyle.

A lifelong friend offers Lacey her beach house in Maine for 6 months. Lacey sets out with her paint supplies in tow. After several hours on the road, she stops for a meal and ends up trying to help a young women in a diner. The classic signs of abuse are painfully obvious to Lacey, ripping open old wounds. Her experience has taught her that love is a ‘destructive emotion.’

A neighbour, Alex Graydon Scott, chisels away at Lacey’s strong desire to remain alone but, as time moves on, with new friends and growing confidence, she begins to see the blessings in her life.

The situation takes a terrifying turn as Ben becomes more delusional, obsessed to have Lacey back. Despite a court order of no contact, he mercilessly attacks Lacey, then Alex.

In the conclusion, it matters not whether things come together in perfect harmony, Lacey is already the heroine. She is taking control of her life and fighting back against what is just morally wrong!

A Clear Range of Vision is truly a powerful story of survival. It’s an enlightening insight into the dimensions of physical, emotional, and marital abuse, and the lifelong effects it has on those who have the courage to step out of the familiar and into the unknown, as well as those who remain in terror, still deluding themselves into believing, ‘things will get better.’

The author, Sharyn Heagle, was born In Toronto. She moved to Ottawa in the 70’s and while working for the federal government, raised four daughters and took courses at Carleton University. She moved to the United States, continued her education, then taught at a women’s university in Kobe, Japan.

This is Heagle’s first published novel with two more to follow. Never a dull moment, she is the president of the Canadian Authors Association (CAA) - Ottawa Branch.

I found this novel to be a moving, well written and strong statement regarding this sensitive subject. A haunting story that will stay with readers long after they finish the book.

Very Highly Recommended by reviewer: Cheryl Ellis, Allbooks Reviews.

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“Sharyn Heagle nailed it! I watched myself from the sidelines while Lacey Holmes struggled and grew stronger in A Clear Range of Vision. Hers is a message not only of hope for survivors of spousal abuse, but a message of empowerment. Brava!”
— Christina Crowe, survivor.

 

A Clear Range of Vision is a journey into a woman's life and her inner self. Author Sharyn Heagle takes us on an intimate and fascinating odyssey of one woman and one man ready for life-changing experiences. An intriguing book I found intensely personal, written in a natural style, and spiced with well-told revealing inner intimacies. The story takes place in a small coastal town on the eastern seaboard and by the middle of the first page I was captivated; hook, line and sinker.”
— Jo-Ann L. Tremblay,
    Ottawa, Canada

Lacey Holmes' life is a work of art. Sometimes her life can be viewed as a Renoir painting, a romantic image of beauty revealed through its simplicity of light and colour. Then, there are times when her life is more like a Monet, completely translucent as the dots of rich colour intersperse the canvas to provide mere glimpses of what lies within. There is also the sadder side of Lacey, the horrific nightmare drama that makes her life an image from a Goya sketch. Or, perhaps, in its most frightening moments, Lacey is the face that depicts The Scream in Van Gogh's famous painting.

What a fitting tribute to Lacey to compare her to the paintings she loves so much! After all, Lacey is an artist. She captures the nuances of light and colour in watercolour and she sketches the reality of human emotions, mirroring the expressive images that are the seasons and moods of life, more specifically, Lacey's life.

There is a fine line that divides life from art and art from life. Ottawa author, Sharyn Heagle's first novel, A Clear Range of Vision, recognizes that boundary, but expounds upon it to create a living canvas of one individual life, the life of an aspiring artist with a very troubled past. Heagle captures the minute nuances between life and art. She reflects the imagery of life as art, a painting in all its glorious shades of colours, as well as the shapes and lines of agony, despair, and, yes, fear.

From page one, A Clear Range of Vision is a compelling read. The story is a painted canvas that draws the reader into the main character's life. The reader sees through Lacey's creative eyes, the eyes of an artist. The reader feels Lacey's conflicting emotions: her need to withdraw within herself, a need that contradicts the art she creates, a need that explodes the boundaries of her self-imposed isolation. The reader aches for Lacey's abusive past, and fears, along with Lacey, for whatever lies ahead. Page after page, the book leads the reader to a very dramatic conclusion.

A Clear Range of Vision is a creative read, full of insights that only an artist, as a writer, could reveal. Heagle is truly an artist with a story to tell. A Clear Range of Vision is highly recommended.

— Emily-Jane Hills Orford, author of Spring and Summer.

 

You don't have to be an abused woman to feel or understand Lacey's pain in Sharyn Heagle's compelling: A Clear Range of Vision. A woman's abuse at the hands of a man who is supposed to protect and love her, has got to be the greatest emotional betrayal between a man and a woman. Lacey and it is invariably the woman who is the object of abuse, is still so damaged that even though she has escaped, physically, she is battered and bruised emotionally and still jumps at loud noises and raised voices.

Thank God for her painting! In her artwork, she CAN escape, often for hours, without having to think about her past.

Heagle is brilliant in her descriptions of people and places. Wherever Lacey goes, the reader feels they are there as well. The crisp air, the gentle breeze, the foaming surf, the towering trees....you feel as if you are indeed walking in Lacey's shoes and for this reason, Heagle helps you to "live" Lacey's life and "see" the world through Lacey's eyes.

It is a story rich in detail and heavy on the heart strings....you'll love it! I know I did!

— Bonni Evans, Publisher, WOT — Women on Top e-zine

 

The Pursuit of Happiness

by Ruth Latta

Tolstoy wrote that happy families are all alike but that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Recently I read two novels about unhappy marriages: A Clear Range of Vision, by (Ottawa) author Sharyn Heagle, and Revolutionary Road, by the late great Richard Yates.

As Sharyn Heagle's novel opens, the central character, Lacey, is driving from Ottawa to a friend's summer home on the Maine coast. She is looking forward to spending a solitary holiday capturing the scenery in water colours. Married at seventeen, the mother of grown children who have left the nest, Lacey is “finally free, after twenty years, to think only about herself,” and to pursue her painting.

Yet she does think of others. At a restaurant, she overhears a woman being verbally abused by her male companion. Meeting the woman in the washroom, Lacey offers her bus fare to escape her companion. “Why y’all wanna do this? You don't know me,” the woman says. Lacey replies, “Yes, I do.”

Near her destination, Lacey picks up the keys to her summer home at the local inn, where she meets the man of every woman's dreams. Actor/producer Alex Graydon Scott chooses to live in Maine, not Hollywood, so as to be a “real person,” not a “commodity.” He likes Lacey instantly and wants to see more of her. Yet Lacey is reluctant to let a friendship develop, let alone a romance, and the reader devours the pages to find out why. As one character says to Lacey: “You had the big house, car, furs, jewellery, furniture. The best of everything. You ditched it for a walk-up in Centretown.” Why?

Although love triumphs in A Clear Range of Vision, the violent climax makes it clear that a good relationship is hard to find. Heagle shows us the extremes to which an antisocial personality may go, and the longterm after-effects of a poisonous marriage.

Sharyn Heagle brings a Master's Degree in English to her writing, and organizational talents to her role as President of the National Capital Region (Ottawa) Branch of the Canadian Authors Association. For more information on CAA visit www.canauthors-ottawa.org (or attend one of their meetings, held the second Tuesday of every month at the Ottawa Public Library Main Branch auditorium, 120 Metcalfe St. at Laurier, from 7 to 9 p.m.).

 

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