Alenaby Rachel Pastan, Carla Mercer-Meyer
At the Venice Biennale, an aspiring assistant curator from the Midwest meets Bernard Augustin, the wealthy, enigmatic founder of the Nauk, a cutting-edge art museum on Cape Cod. It's been two years since the tragic death of the Nauk's chief curator, Augustin's childhood friend and muse, Alena. When Augustin offers the position to our heroine (who, like du Maurier's original, remains nameless) she dives at the chance—and quickly finds herself well out of her depth.
The Nauk echoes with phantoms of the past—a past obsessively preserved by the museum's business manager and the rest of the staff. Their devotion to the memory of the charismatic Alena threatens to stifle the new curator's efforts to realize her own creative vision, and her every move mires her more deeply in artistic, erotic, and emotional entanglements. When new evidence calls into question the circumstances of Alena's death, her loyalty, integrity, and courage are put to the test, and shattering secrets surface.
Stirring and provocative, Alena is the result of a delicious visitation of one of the most popular novels of the twentieth century on a brilliant and inventive novelist of the twenty-first.
- Tantor Media, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Unabridged CD
- Product dimensions:
- 6.40(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Meet the Author
Rachel Pastan, the author of the novels Lady of the Snakes and This Side of Married, has won numerous prizes for her short fiction. She lives in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
Carla Mercer-Meyer is an AudioFile Earphones Award-winning audiobook narrator. She has a strong musical theater background, as she has been performing her entire life. Her performances include Into the Woods; You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; and many other theatrical productions. Carla resides in Southern California.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I do not understand those negative reviews, I loved this book and was so sorry when it ended. Great plot, great character development. I finished this book about three weeks ago and I miss those characters a lot. I feel as If I did not see someone close to my heart for a while and need to call them and talk to them. I highly recommend this book and would be curious as to what other reviews will be posted. I love the book Rebecca, but I am sure it Was not this author's intention to be compared to it. Each of these books is great in it's own way. Please read it ;)
I really did not like this book and that's putting it mildly. After the hype about it being an "inspired re-staging" of the classic novel Rebecca, I expected better writing and a more interesting plot. Thinly veiled plagiarism didn't do the job. The characters weren't even interesting and the entire storyline dragged and lagged and limped its way to an abrupt ending that suggested the author herself because too bored to write more. Writing a novel is hard work, but still in all, this author wasn't, isn't, and never will be a Daphne Du Maurier, and it does neither of these people credit to compare them.
With intriguing descriptions of art and equally sharp-eyed observation of people, this page-turner of a novel is also an homage to Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. The novel explores the feelings of the young, female narrator as a strained and awkward newcomer; she is the newly installed young curator at the Nauquasset, a museum of contemporary art on Cape Cod. Mingling with the salt air of the Cape is the Gothic air of mystery surrounding the disappearance of the enigmatic Alena, the museum's former curator, who went missing and is presumed dead three years before. Recommended!
Very disappointing. Rebecca is one of my favorite books. I have read it so many times and have watched the movie many more. Daphne Du Maurier captures the haunting of the young wife by the ghost of Rebecca. Alena dragged and I could not understand where the author was going with her story line. The only thing that the author comes close to Rebecca is the opening line from Rebecca. After that it was all down hill. Who ever told the author that she should write this book, should be questioned. Don't waste your time with this book, read the orginial.
This author has completely failed in her attempt to "re-stage" the beautiful classic, Rebecca. Pastan's characters are boring, lack dimension, heart, and likability. It was impossible to form an attachment to them;. they are merely stereotyped cardboard representations of the beautifully complex du Maurier characters. Pastan gets lost in overly worded descriptions, using her verbosity to hide the weakness in her writing. The tempo of the novel is painstakingly slow with little conflict development and the lack of creativity and imagination makes it impossible to sustain interest . I am not sure why a writer would attempt to copy a classic.; Pastan did so in a clumsy, uninspired way. I gave up after page 117. Reading time is too precious to waste on poorly written imitation. Alena is not an homage to Rebecca, It is a disaster. Try Alice Hoffman, Barbara Kingsolver, Ann Patchette, Amy Tan, Lisa See.