Lauren O'Farrell is an "art detective" who made it her mission to retrieve invaluable artworks stolen by the Nazis during the darkest days of World War II.Read more...
Lauren O'Farrell is an "art detective" who made it her mission to retrieve invaluable artworks stolen by the Nazis during the darkest days of World War II. Her quest leads her to the Manhattan apartment of elderly Isabella Fletcher, a woman who lives in the shadow of a terrible history-years ago her mother was rumored to have collaborated with the Nazis.
But as Isabella reveals the events of her mother's life, Lauren finds herself immersed in an amazing story of courage and secrecy as she discovers the extraordinary truth about a priceless piece of art that may have survived the war and the enduring relationship between a mother and a daughter.
- ISBN-13: 9780425243053
- ISBN-10: 0425243052
- Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
- Publish Date: October 2011
- Page Count: 393
- Reading Level: Ages 18-UP
- Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-08-08
- Reviewer: Staff
At the start of this intense and richly detailed novel from Jones (Lost Madonna), Lauren O’Farrell, an art detective, interviews 82-year-old Isabella Fletcher about a missing Wassily Kandinsky painting, a masterpiece last seen before WWII. Lauren’s queries open a Pandora’s box of agonizing dilemmas. Did Isabella’s mother, Hanna, whose synesthesia allowed her to “hear” colors, but dead now 60 years, collaborate with the Nazis in looting Jewish-owned art, or was she a hero, saving “degenerate” paintings from the bonfires? Through Hanna’s firm and authoritative voice, we learn of her trajectory from a naïve Bavarian farm girl to an art critic prized by the Nazis, beginning with her impulsive trip to Munich in 1900 and her employment and eventual marriage to Moses Fleischmann, an important art dealer. Hanna eventually catches the attention of Hitler himself. While at times totally implausible (would Hitler have a private lunch with the widow of a prominent Jew?), this story puts a wonderfully imaginative spin on art and history. (Oct.)