Friday, September 22, 2017

Impossible views of the world, by Lucy Ives

I was captivated in the first few pages by the author’s distinctive style.  Her sentences are complex and her descriptive writing constantly surprises with unusual comparisons and word choices.  Evidently, she is a poet and it shows.  This is her debut novel.  However, by the end of this hybrid mystery/mid-life crisis/critique of art collecting and collectors/expose of the corrupting influences of corporate sponsorship of the arts/etc., etc., I was thoroughly weary and longed for a simple declarative sentence.  Stella Krakus is a curator at a major art museum.  The mystery of her colleague’s suicide, and what led up to it; her troubled relationship with her controlling mother; her awful relationship with her soon to be ex-husband; and her romantic entanglement with the heir apparent to the directorship of the museum got all jumbled up in the plot – not to mention a subplot set in the 1800s -- and I arrived at the denouement clueless as to what had actually transpired.  Maybe it was just me, but I found the novel pretentious and twee.  Perhaps I’d like her poetry better.  293 pp.

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