Creative and impetuous, Katherine Walsingham has simple but grand plans after she receives her Masters degree in art--to defiantly strive for the highest ideals in her work contrary to modernist trends, and, like many artists, to open her own gallery, right in the heart of fashionable Manhattan, never suspecting the successes and triumphs, bumps and trials that will head her way. Consumed with her career goals and not prepared to settle down just yet, she discovers life and love have a strange way of turning all her best laid plans topsy-turvy ... with bittersweet consequences.
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Set in New York and New Jersey during the early 1990s, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly reveals the story of Katherine Walsingham, the only daughter of the CEO and Chairman of Walsingham Industries, an international cosmetic and pharmaceutical company that has been in the family for generations.
Daunted by its global proportions, she has no real interest in the business other than its sentimental value. An artist by calling and temperament, a lover of literature, a philosophical idealist and animal rights activist unafraid to speak her mind, Katherine has a talent for leaping ahead with anything that seems like a good idea at the time ... often landing in hot water with her sharp tongue and allegorical paintings to the consternation and amusement of everyone around her.
Setting her heart on opening her own gallery when she graduates from an elite art college, life is good. With a trust fund to secure her, she has no real worries that are the plague of struggling artists, but soon discovers wealth does not guarantee a smooth passage in life, for all her plans do not turn out exactly as she expected.
Opening a gallery is not an easy task, and Katherine must quickly learn to balance art and business, demanding customers and harsh art critics, family tragedies and disappointments. With so much to do, romance is the last thing on her mind, and despite her best efforts to avoid any entanglements, falls in love with one of New York's most eligible bachelors. From her own reticence to become involved with anyone, to the rumours spread about his family, it is a relationship that seems doomed, but Katherine finds that love will blossom where it will and cannot be controlled or stifled, nor the joy and heartache that accompanies it.
Brushstrokes of a Gadfly is a story brimming with vibrant and entertaining characters that only New York's High Society and art circles can provide. It is a colourful and amusing novel tinged with human tragedy.