It's 1975 and Sharon, a naïve 26 year old woman
from the Midwest comes to New York to study art and repair
her shattered relationship with her father. She meets
David Kaplan, a rakishly handsome, savvy, seductive New
York corporate lawyer. Their passionate love affair results
in Sharon's sexual and emotional awakening. David gets
arrested for selling insider trading information. Humiliated about
going to prison he disappears from Sharon's life. Crushed
by David's rejection, Sharon loses herself to dancing,
drugs, and sexual experimentation in New York City's 1970's
disco scene. It's with her psychotherapist that she is
able to connect her father's abandoning her when she was
13, to her overwhelming grief for David and downward spiral
into drugs and sexual acting out. It's David's eventual
return that tests Sharon's new found strength and emotional
"I really loved Portrait of Desire...I read it in one weekend.
I just could not put it down"
--Brianna Loge, a reader from Texas
"Love, lust and romance are the catalyst of a young woman's
rite of passage during New York's disco daze. What a combination!
I couldn't put it down until I'd read every last word. The art of
romance comes from the heart, and Rhonda Findling proves it."
--Josie Brown, contributing editor, COMPLETE WOMAN, and author,
Marriage Confidential: 102 Honest Answers to the Questions Every Husband
Wants to Ask, and Every Wife Needs to Know
|"Portrait of Desire is the best kind of novel: it's a real
page turner and it teaches us some of life's important lessons.
When the novel begins we find Sharon, an accomplished artist in her
20s, single, and living with her emotionally needy mother in Wisconsin.
Sharon has been her mother's life support ever since her husband,
Sharon's father, abandoned his family years earlier. Sharon has
grown up missing the warmth and love of her father, and she now accidentally
discovers a packet of birthday cards he's sent her over the years,
cards that have been hidden away by her mother. Sharon had believed
her father had never written her, and she immediately calls all the
phone numbers included in his letters. After finding them all disconnected,
and angry at her mother for hiding the cards, Sharon packs up and
moves to New York City, where he last lived, to search for him. Here,
she'll be close to her married sister, and she'll also be
able to pursue her lifelong dream: to study art in New York.
"While she makes great strides in her art classes, she is unable
to locate her father. Worse, alone for the first time, lonely and
scared, she seeks comfort in an obsessive relationship with David,
a handsome, wealthy attorney who introduces her to sex and drugs.
She can't get enough of either. Sharon obsesses about him constantly,
even though David is emotionally unavailable. Soon, David is more
important to her than her art, than her own life. When she doesn't
hear from him, and when she thinks he's with other women, she
becomes bereft. In fact, one day, "Standing alone on the street
she thought about running in front of a moving car. Then this unbearable
pain and humiliation would be over.... Wanting to end her life over
"It is in this weakened state, when her life is falling apart,
she finally finds a therapist. Here, Sharon begins to heal. And even
though her journey of self-discovery will be rocky, she does start
to understand the most important lesson of her life. Her therapist
tells her, "Obsessing is sometimes a way of avoiding the pain
of loss." In fact, what she learns, is that never having healed
from her father's abandonment, she now uses men and sex to numb
the pain of her earlier loss. Indeed, Sharon then uses other men and
more drugs to numb the pain of losing David. This is a vicious, addictive
cycle that Sharon struggles to overcome. With the help of her therapist
and several nurturing women, she ultimately learns to thrive.
"If you've ever felt you couldn't live without a man,
read this book. If you have a history of putting men's needs
above your own, read this book. If you've lost your sense of
self or lost your own identity to obsession or sex or men, read this
book. From reading this novel and accompanying Sharon on her journey
through recovery, you will learn how to reclaim yourself. Sharon is
a true heroine that readers will root for and love."
--Sue William Silverman, author,
Love Sick: One Woman's Journey Through Sexual Addiction