Hollyland: A Feel-Good Novel for All and a Must-Read for Every Artist and Art Educator

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Patricia Leavy, one of our favorite authors, is back at it with a novel I couldn’t put down. In fact, Hollyland is the novel we’ve been hoping Leavy, an acclaimed arts researcher, would write. You see, in addition to being a prolific novelist with an unmistakable voice in women’s fiction, Dr. Leavy is also a world-renowned scholar. There’s no hyperbole here. She started receiving lifetime achievement awards at the age of 35! To date she’s received career awards from the New England Sociological Association, the American Creativity Association, the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, the National Art Education Association, and multiple awards from the American Educational Research Association, and a major university named an arts award in her honor, not to mention dozens of accolades for her 40 works of fiction and nonfiction.

Author Patricia Leavy with her new book! Hollyland: A Feel-Good Novel for All and a Must-Read for Every Artist and Art Educator

With a doctorate in sociology, and an infectious passion for the arts, Leavy took an unconventional path to become a globally recognized arts researcher and advocate. Over the past two decades, her work has greatly advanced the arts-based research paradigm, which merges the arts and humanities with the social sciences. Her nonfiction text Method Meets Art, now in its third edition and translated into many languages, is considered a bible by many graduate students and researchers. Method Meets Art prompted a paradigm shift, and since, Leavy has released a slew of groundbreaking textbooks that advance our understanding of the arts and sciences, and she has been a vocal public advocate for the arts in education, research, and daily life. 

Meanwhile, over the past dozen years, she’s released a dozen women’s fiction novels—the kind of highly engrossing, inspirational, feel-good books that make perfect beach reads—impossible to put down. Leavy is a master at penning love stories that are so much more. She writes light, hope, and optimism in every corner. Readers will see nods to the arts throughout her catalog, but now she’s written the novel we’ve been waiting for: Hollyland

Hollyland: A Feel-Good Novel for All and a Must-Read for Every Artist and Art Educator

Here’s the scoop. Hollyland is a deeply satisfying celebrity romance—you’re not-so-average gal meets a famous bad boy descended from Hollywood royalty. The novel open with a skillfully written meet-cute outside a bar and then follows the couple on their quest to live with magic and passion. As you can imagine, lots of Hollywood types cross the pages in outrageously fun scenes. This is also a touching book full of heart, and you may end up with a couple tear-stained pages (the “gift” is beyond). 

So, who’s the protagonist? Dee Schwartz, a writer and arts researcher. Here’s the genius of this novel. While on the one hand, this is very much a feel-good, romantic romp through Hollywood—or Hollyland—it’s also a brilliantly written tribute to the arts. Movies, paintings, sculptures, comics, novels, poetry, songs, all make their way onto the pages, most notably with a series of references to The Wizard of Oz. But Leavy goes much further than to simply signpost the arts. The entire story is underscored with questions about art versus entertainment, the societal value we do or do not place on the arts, the role of the arts and artists in culture, and perhaps most importantly, who the real movie stars are in our lives (and as you may guess, they’re not always on the silver screen). In a celebrity-obsessed, Instagram-driven culture, this novel has beautiful, poignant messages sure to appeal to any reader. 

In sum, I LOVE this book—the characters, story, and hopefulness. Hollyland has all the humor of a good rom com, the sweet sexiness we long for in a romance, and even a suspenseful climax. It’s the ideal read for anyone looking for joy, escape, and inspiration whether in their book club or home alone on a weekend afternoon. Yet Hollyland is so much more. It’s also an important statement about the role of the arts in our lives and an antidote to the “compare and despair” filtered social media culture we all navigate. Every art educator and artist should read this book. Highly recommended! Get it for yourself and those you most love.

Preorder Hollyland:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hollyland-Novel-Patricia-Leavy/dp/1647422965/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hollyland-patricia-leavy/1142791633

IndieBound: https://bookshop.org/p/books/hollyweird-patricia-leavy/18706704

Learn More:

Website: www.patricialeavy.com  
She Writes Press: https://shewritespress.com/product/hollyland/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WomenWhoWrite/  
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/patricialeavy   
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatriciaLeavy 


ALL our interviews with Dr. Leavy can be seen here.