In the High Peaks

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Final Words on Hotel du Lac and The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

Hotel du Lac was a peak reading experience for me, and thus far is my #1 book of the year. The writing was so original in every way--I so appreciated it. And Edith's "triumph" on the very last page. Sad, yes, but a victory that she remains true to herself and does not fall prey to a man shrouded in everyday lies and commonplace deception. Hotel du Lac is definitely a novel I will turn to again.

And talking about originality! I'm now reading a fascinating, innovative novel which is currently on the trade paperback bestseller lists. I own The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro in hardcover. Like others I've read this summer, it's a book that I'm enjoying reading very slowly and deliberately, so as not to miss a beat or a single nuance.

I am so in awe of the research Shapiro collected to make this book about a special artist (and forger) authentic. That sounds like a play on words! What I mean is, Shapiro has not only done her homework on this topic, she has embraced the competitive world of artists, dealers, and museum curators so well that the reader can be fully present, enthralled in the action.

It's interesting that Messud's novel is also about artists, yet Shapiro's novel allows the reader to experience firsthand what it is like to be an artist in today's art world. And this is a crucial difference. I want to point out that this is a crime thriller, all related to the actual theft of priceless paintings from the actual Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston back in 1990, though the novel is set in 2010 or so. I will reveal more as I read more. The photo is a December view of the inner courtyard of the museum--it's so much more beautiful than this, that I hesitated to include it. Do visit if you're in Boston and I promise you won't be disappointed!

I am so irate about the horrid heat and humidity we've been having. Not an Adirondacks summer, that's for sure. I guess I've been spoiled and I'm now getting my comeuppance


  1. I was looking forward to escaping the heat and humidity of NYC today as I head back home, but it sounds like conditions aren't much better upstate. At least I can anticipate several uninterrupted hours with Hotel du Lac on the train!

  2. Oh, yes, JoAnn!
    I actually envy you reading Hotel du Lac on a train! I have taken a number of extended train journeys and remember with fondness the books I curled into while on board.

    I must read another Anita Brookner. The only problem is I am determined to read a number of books this summer and the days pass too rapidly.

    I hope you're home by now!