Dear Great Book Guru, I was at a Thanksgiving party this weekend and talk turned, as usual to…. BOOKS! One of the partygoers mentioned a new novel about art museums that had gotten a very good review. I am looking for something to read during the long weekend ahead and it sounded interesting. Any thoughts? Thankful in Sea Cliff
Dear Thankful, I was at a wonderful party last weekend too- the Doherty Family Reunion Thanksgiving- and the book recommendations were flying. My niece Melissa always has great suggestions and we talked about many books, including the one you are interested in: ASUNDER by Chloe Aridjis. Marie is a woman we have seen many times and have seldom noticed . She is of an indeterminate age, she is neither attractive nor unattractive. She has been a museum guard at the British National Gallery for ten years, lovingly contemplating the many works of great art that surround her and the passersby who unknowingly amuse her with their observations. A number of masterpieces are mentioned and Marie's enduring affinity for them. One in particular- Velazquez's "Venus and Cupid" has a particular hold on her. Almost a hundred years earlier, in one of art history's most famous destructive acts, Marie's great-grandfather was standing guard at the National Gallery when a militant suffragette Mary Richardson slashed this painting. Marie obsessively relives that moment throughout the book. A trip to Paris suggests a romantic interlude but always the writer returns to Marie's quest to understand life through art. A haunting book that leaves the reader with many questions …..