What I’m Reading: The Muralist

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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.

What I’m Reading: That Darkness

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I don’t remember if I told you about Hoopla.  Some libraries use that as their on library vender.  Mary Jo told me about it and I’m so glad she did.  I’ve been using it and love that there is no wait list for books.  I can check out eight items a month cost free and and best of all THERE IS NO WAIT LIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Can you tell that I am VERY happy about that?

I needed a break from heavy books so I picked up a crime novel… That Darkness (A Gardiner and Renner Novel) by Lisa Black.

From what I know, this is the start of a new series for this author…so will I read more of the series?? [Read more...]

What I’m Reading: Secrets of a Charmed Life

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I just finished up the audio book Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner.  This one came to me via Hoopla Digital.  I’ve had lots of trouble with Overdrive lately making getting books from my online library hard.  That makes me super glad I have Hoopla now too.

Anyway..a little about the book.

I picked it as it has a WWII twist and I like books from that time period.  This one bring in a college student from current day interviewing someone who lived through the bombing blitz in England.  The format isn’t original but the story is good.  There is very little present day time spent in the book and I appreciated that as there the book was a little weak…not bad though.

Here’s what Amazon had to say, [Read more...]

What I’m Reading: Pretty Baby

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I just finished up listening to the audio book Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica.

This one…I really liked.

The book involves abuse, mental illness, problems with the foster care system and family that needs help.  If you don’t like reading about that sort of thing, you’ll likely not like the book.

The story is told in the perspective of three different characters.  I felt some empathy for all of them.  While listening and being only half way through the book I could see that the story had so many different avenues that it could take.  That made the story and the want to keep listening high.

Here’s what Amazon had to say, “She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can’t get the girl out of her head…

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated

I was really surprised to look at Amazon and see that the readers only gave the book 4.1 stars.  I really think I would give it more than that.  I liked the book.  I am going back to Hoopla and checking to see if they have other books by her.  In many of the reviews from Amazon readers said they liked The Good Girl better…that is making me think I better go get that book and check it out.