I just finished up the audio book The Muralist: A Novel by B. A. Shapiro. This one was a historical fiction piece that I acquired through Hoopla Digital.
The book is good. It toggles between present day and the past. The past is a WWII story of a Jewish family. One of the family members, the main character, lives in the US and is working to get visas for her family in France. This was done pretty well. I didn’t know a lot about the WPA and it’s use of artists to work in New York City. I love learning a bit about new things through the books I read.
All in all, I liked the book. I was a slightly disappointed that the ending was told rather quickly…but it didn’t ruin the book…still good.
Here’s what Amazon had to say, “When Alizée Benoit, a young American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940, no one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her arts patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends and fellow WPA painters, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who, while working at Christie’s auction house, uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind works by those now famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt?
Entwining the lives of both historical and fictional characters, and moving between the past and the present, The Muralist plunges readers into the divisiveness of prewar politics and the largely forgotten plight of European refugees refused entrance to the United States. It captures both the inner workings of New York’s art scene and the beginnings of the vibrant and quintessentially American school of Abstract Expressionism.
As she did in her bestselling novel The Art Forger, B. A. Shapiro tells a gripping story while exploring provocative themes. In Alizée and Danielle she has created two unforgettable women, artists both, who compel us to ask: What happens when luminous talent collides with unstoppable historical forces? Does great art have the power to change the world?”
Amazon readers give the book 4.1 stars. I think I’d go 4.3. I do recommend reading the book…I just thought the ending came a little fast. I see that the author has other books written in the same format and I plan to go back and see if any others are available through my online library or through Hoopla.