The Museum of Modern Love, by Heather Rose

A hush descended on the atrium. It became evident that the young man was weeping. It wasn’t a dramatic gesture. Tears were running down his face while his glistening angel eyes continued to gaze at the woman. After some time, the woman began to weep in the same silent passive way. the weeping went on as if they could both see they must settle for losing something. Levin looked about and realised the atrium had quietly filled again and everyone was staring at the two people.

Arky Levin’s life is unraveling. His wife has made him keep a devstating promise which means he may never see her again. A film score composer and musician, he finds himself unable to create music. he has cut himself off from his friends and even his daughter. when he wanders into MoMA, he finds himself watching an installation performance. Artist Marina Abramovic is sitting, for seventy five days, staring into the eyes of strangers. Arky finds himself drawn back to the gallery time and again and, gradually, he starts to piece ogether his life away from the gallery.

The Museum of Modern Love is an absorbing, moving story of art, life and love. Multiple perspectives explore Arky’s viewpoint, as well as the stories of other observers and of the artist herself. Readers are invited to consider the significance of art and its connection to life itself.

Inspired by the life and art of Marina Abramovic,the story is an interpretation both of the artist and of the impact of her work.


The Museum of Modern Love, by Heather Rose
Allen & Unwin, 2016
ISBN 9781760291860

The Butterfly Man, by Heather Rose

In Tasmania, Scotsman Henry Kennedy has been diagnosed with incurable cancer. He has just months to live. It is time to put his affairs in order – but Henry has a secret past, a past filled with events so terrible he cannot put them to rights. As his brain is affected by tumours, he struggles to keep his past and his present separate.

The Butterfly Man is a fictional story which uses a real murder mystery as a base. The true story is that of Lord Lucan, who went missing after allegedly murdering his children’s nanny in 1974. The novel explores a fictional life for Lucan after his disappearance, including time in Africa, a change of identity and a new life in Tasmania. However, the author does not attempt to solve the mystery of Lucan’s disappearance, instead using it to explore themes including secrets and their consequences.

The story is told in the first person voice of Henry/Lucan, with the stories of his last months, his time in Africa and the events of his marriage and the nanny’s death intertwined, so that readers are allowed to make assumptions and connections which are, at times, proved wrong. As we learn about Henry, we also learn about the life story of his partner, Lili, who has secrets of her own. Other characters also offer depth and interest – with Lili’s grandson, Charlie, and Henry’s friend Jimmy all proving intriguing.

First released in 2005, The Butterfly Man has been re-released. It is an absorbing read.

The Butterfly Man, by Heather Rose
UQP 2005, 2007