Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, October 2012 *****
This amazing novel resonated with me long after I finished it. It had my full attention throughout and it was such a well-crafted story with a highly fulfilling conclusion. Even if you don’t know much about art, there’s something here for everyone: mystery, a bit of romance, great characters, and history. Shapiro deftly leads the reader into Claire’s world as a disreputable Boston artist. Claire has a black mark on her reputation, so when she is asked to forge a stolen Degas, she figures she has nothing left to lose. There’s a sense of danger in what she’s doing and the anticipation is intense. I loved that there were interspersed chapters taking us back 3 years to when Claire’s world fell apart.
I had the most fun researching Degas and The Gardner Museum to really visualize the rich descriptions of the art and the settings. I really liked Claire’s voice and thought she was a perfectly written character despite her flaws and because of her diligence. The way the whole story unravels, revealing so many complexities and revelations, is exceptional. The smell of pigments and turpentine, the atmosphere of the gorgeous Gardner courtyard, and even Claire’s anxiety were palpable. This book was so skillfully written, I highly recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book via the Amazon Vine program.