Lately I’ve been trying to expand my horizons. I’ve been trying to get out of my normal routine of reading. The last book review I did was Garden of Stones, which also is outside by box, so it might be hard to believe but i’m traditionally a chick lit type of gal. Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. On my way home from yoga tonight I found myself thinking about it again, in preparation for this review, and there is honestly nothing I would have changed about the story.
The Art Forger, written by BA Shapiro, is written about the 1990 robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, in which 13 works of Art worth more than $500 million dollars were stolen. This part of the story is true. The robbery was a real FBI investigation and to this day remains unsolved.
When the story starts we meet the main character Claire. She is an artist in her late 20’s who lives in Boston, black marked because of a past transgression. Claire makes her living by reproducing (copying) art work of the already famous. These pieces are sold on a fictional “reproduction.com” as very high quality copies. When she isn’t working on the art work for “Repro” she is crafting her own.
One day a ghost from the past, Aiden Markel, comes to Claire, and asks if she is willing to, “make a deal with the Devil.” Aiden asks Claire to forge a Degas painting that was stolen during the unsolved 1990 heist at the Elizabeth Stewart Gardner museum. In payment for her work she will receive a large sum of money and the opportunity of a life-time. An opportunity to finally be viewed on the world market as an actual artist. As Claire works to create the forgery, curiosity lingers in her mind about whether the painting in front of her is in fact an original at all. Is she copying a copy? As Claire looks into the past she discovers that perhaps things aren’t as cut and dry as she once assumed.
The story is written to tell two stories. One of the present, in which Claire is working on the Degas forgery, and one in the past, explaining how she ended up where she is at the beginning of the story. The author does a great job at slowly allowing the reader to gain new information, never revealing so much that you might start to ‘figure things out’ too soon. This story was so compelling, and I found myself quickly flipping through the pages dying to find out how it all ended.
I highly recommend this book. At first when I found it in the book store, I thought it was a one off- a random book that no one had noticed before. However, I have spotted this book on a few lists as a ‘must read’ this summer. Beat your friends to this book, be the first to read it. It is great and easy read that will have you dying to find out more. I would definitely give this book a five star rating!
Let me know what you think. Have you read this book? Do you think you’ll pick it up? Have you read any books with a similar plot line that you enjoyed? How about a little helpful criticism, how can I improve my book reviews? Is there a structure that might be better?