Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro
Every birthday, from the time they were born, my daughters have always received a 'birthday' book.  We've moved from Goodnight Moon, to The Wizard of Oz, through all of Harry Potter, and into adulthood with The Book Thief. So, this year when I dropped the ball and forgot, it was important to make it up to my artistic daughter and find the perfect book.  The Art Forger should do the trick.  While Meg doesn't yet have time to read it, thanks to college, I was able to sneak a peek.  Of course, the peek turned into 14 pages, and by then it was impossible to put this book down.  Whether you're an art history buff, like my daughter, or a mystery fan like me, you will LOVE this book.  The main character, Claire Roth, is a poor artist in Boston, working on reproductions for an online company.  Mystery surrounds her, as we hear vague rumblings on her ostracism from the artistic world, and we meet Aiden Markel, a mysterious man who offers her a Faustian bargain.  Questions propel the reader through the book...is it really a deal with the devil?...will Claire ever be vindicated or find success?...is the Degas painting real or fake?...who perpetrated the 1990 heist?  Shapiro, an artistically knowledgeable writer, does a masterful job of splicing time periods together, moving among three years past, the Boston of today, and the Paris of one hundred years ago.  It is an engrossing, thought-provoking, intriguing novel;  I highly recommend it.

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