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The Muralist: A Novel by B. A. Shapiro
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The Muralist: A Novel

by B. A. Shapiro

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2731641,545 (3.48)12
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    The World to Come by Dara Horn (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These well-researched, moving novels contain multiple parallel plotlines and showcase framed paintings that hide other works of art. The heart-wrenching stories of Jewish war refugees combine with those of historical and fictional figures as modern characters discover their family connections.… (more)
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This story centers around the disappearance of a young artist, Alizee Benoit, in New York City, in the 1940s. She had been working as an artist for the Works Progress Administration with a close-knit group of friends including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner when she suddenly vanished. Some 70 years later, her great-niece, Danielle, while working at an auction house, uncovers some hidden pieces of art works hidden behind recently found paintings by those now famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Entwining the lives of both historical and fictional characters, and moving between the past and the present, Shapiro plunges readers into the divisiveness of prewar politics and the forgotten plight of European refugees refused entrance to the United States. Lovers of mystery, historical fiction, and the art world will find this a riveting read.
  HandelmanLibraryTINR | Nov 7, 2017 |
I didn't like this novel as much as The Art Forger, perhaps because there was less about art and more tragedy. I have read a lot of holocaust literature in my life and personally right now was just not the time for that sadness. However, the writing is beautiful and the story is interesting. If I were in a different mood I might have liked it much more. The most interesting part for me was the relationship between the painter and Eleanor Roosevelt. ( )
  krazy4katz | Jul 28, 2017 |
Wasn't for me. ( )
  dcmr | Jul 4, 2017 |
I loved this book, partially because it touched on many important parts of my life. I love historical fiction, studied art history, and have worked for a Jewish agency for over 20 years.

But the most important reason to love this book is simply because its well written, the characters are carefully drawn and develop within the plot. The story is like a braid, showing different point of views while always remaining a whole.

I definitely recommend this book
  sdunford | May 24, 2017 |
A compelling story of an artist trying to get her family out of war-torn Europe in 1940 - a story complimented by that of her modern-day relation trying to trace her story. World War II is common enough in historical fiction, but I appreciated the approach here, of a novel set in the U.S. and building on the themes of American isolationism and artistic innovation that drive the characters to desperate action. Excellent reading. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Feb 5, 2017 |
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Epigraph
Eleanor's failure to force her husband to admit more refugees
remained her deepest regret at the end of her life.

-- Doris Kearns Goodwin,
No Ordinary Time
Dedication
For Emma and Charlotte,
the wonders of my world
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It was there when I arrived that morning, sitting to the right of my desk, ostensibly no different from the other half-dozen cartons on the floor, flaps bend back, paintings haphazardly poking out.
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"When Alize e Benoit, a young American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940, no one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her arts patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends and fellow WPA painters, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who, while working at Christie's auction house, uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind works by those now famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt?"--Dust jacket.… (more)

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