"A clever and complex tale of art fraud, theft, scandal, murder, and revenge.” --Publishers Weekly
In this surprising, noirish page-turner, B. A. Shapiro once again takes readers into the world of art, glamour, and mystery. Accused of helping her fiancé steal her family’s fortune and her father’s art collection, Paulien Mertens has fled to France. To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who lost everything, she has created a new identity. Paulien, aka Vivienne, takes a position working for an American art collector modeled after real-life eccentric museum founder Albert Barnes and quickly becomes caught up in the 1920s Paris of artists and expats, including post-Impressionist painter Henri Matisse and writer Gertrude Stein. From there, she sets out to recover her father’s art collection, prove her innocence, and exact revenge on her ex-fiancé. B. A. Shapiro has made the historical art thriller her own, and once again she gives us an unforgettable tale about what we see—and what we refuse to see.
|Publisher:||Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
B. A. Shapiro is the New York Times bestselling author of The Muralist and The Art Forger, which won the New England Book Award for Fiction and the Boston Authors Society Award for Fiction, among other honors. Her books have been selected as community reads in numerous cities and translated throughout the world. Before becoming a novelist, she taught sociology at Tufts University and creative writing at Northeastern University. She and her husband, Dan, divide their time between Boston and Florida.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.5 Stars. Having recently been to Paris, and spent a fair amount of time in the art museums and cafes, admiring the paintings, I was immediately captured by the scenes in Paris. Paulien Mertens, who reinvented herself as Vivienne Gregsby, is on trial for murder. Using time cuts to draw the picture of how she came to be in such a situation (and wondering, perhaps, if she actually DID the deed), we see a spoiled, pampered, and naive Belgian girl who becomes a woman, after she is alternatively seduced, cast out, abused, befriended, and courted. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this work from Algonquin Books. The suspense kept building, the to very end, with several surprises along the way. Vivienne's relationship with Edwin Bradley goes from timid assistant to complete colleague and romantic interest. Along with an entanglement with famed artist Henri Matisse. If you love art, and the idea of "visiting" the artistic salons of Gertrude Stein, you'll probably enjoy this book, based loosely on an interweaving of historical and fictional characters.