The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
Author: Dominic Smith
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780374714048
Available:
Release: 2016-04-05
Editor: Sarah Crichton Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“Written in prose so clear that we absorb its images as if by mind meld, “The Last Painting” is gorgeous storytelling: wry, playful, and utterly alive, with an almost tactile awareness of the emotional contours of the human heart. Vividly detailed, acutely sensitive to stratifications of gender and class, it’s fiction that keeps you up at night — first because you’re barreling through the book, then because you’ve slowed your pace to a crawl, savoring the suspense.” —Boston Globe A New York Times Bestseller A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice A RARE SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY PAINTING LINKS THREE LIVES, ON THREE CONTINENTS, OVER THREE CENTURIES IN THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS, AN EXHILARATING NEW NOVEL FROM DOMINIC SMITH. Amsterdam, 1631: Sara de Vos becomes the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the city’s Guild of St. Luke. Though women do not paint landscapes (they are generally restricted to indoor subjects), a wintry outdoor scene haunts Sara: She cannot shake the image of a young girl from a nearby village, standing alone beside a silver birch at dusk, staring out at a group of skaters on the frozen river below. Defying the expectations of her time, she decides to paint it. New York City, 1957: The only known surviving work of Sara de Vos, At the Edge of a Wood, hangs in the bedroom of a wealthy Manhattan lawyer, Marty de Groot, a descendant of the original owner. It is a beautiful but comfortless landscape. The lawyer’s marriage is prominent but comfortless, too. When a struggling art history grad student, Ellie Shipley, agrees to forge the painting for a dubious art dealer, she finds herself entangled with its owner in ways no one could predict. Sydney, 2000: Now a celebrated art historian and curator, Ellie Shipley is mounting an exhibition in her field of specialization: female painters of the Dutch Golden Age. When it becomes apparent that both the original At the Edge of a Wood and her forgery are en route to her museum, the life she has carefully constructed threatens to unravel entirely and irrevocably.

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
Author: Dominic Smith
Pages: 329
ISBN: 9781925268638
Available:
Release: 2017-01-01
Editor: Atlantic Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Longlisted for the 2017 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction In the 1600s Sara de Vos loses her young daughter suddenly to illness. In her grief, she secretly begins painting a dark landscape of a girl watching a group of ice skaters from the edge of a wood. In 1950s New York, Martijn de Groot has At the Edge of a Wood hanging above his bed. Though it is a dark, peculiar painting, he holds it dear and when it is stolen, he is bereft. In Brooklyn, struggling art student Ellie Shipley accepts a commission to paint an intricate forgery of the painting, not realising that her decision will come to haunt her successful academic career. Gorgeously written, brilliantly conceived and executed, filled with tension and revelation, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is one of those rare books that stops time as you read it. This is a novel you will want to revisit for the sheer pleasure of watching a master at work.

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
Author: Dominic Smith
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781952533938
Available:
Release: 2016-05-01
Editor: Allen & Unwin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

'Highly evocative of time and place, this stunning novel explores a triumvirate of fate, choice and consequence, and is worthy of comparison to Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring and Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch . . . A masterly, multilayered story that will dazzle readers.' Library Journal This is what we long for: the profound pleasure of being swept into vivid new worlds, worlds peopled by characters so intriguing and real that we can't shake them, even long after the reading's done. In this extraordinary novel, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Australian writer Dominic Smith brilliantly bridges the historical and the contemporary, tracking a collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the Golden Age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated Australian art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth. In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted to the Guild of St. Luke in Holland as a master painter, the first woman to be so honoured. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain-a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the Manhattan bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she's curating an exhibition of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. As the three threads intersect with increasing and exquisite suspense, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerises while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present.

The Electric Hotel

The Electric Hotel
Author: Dominic Smith
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780374719692
Available:
Release: 2019-06-04
Editor: Sarah Crichton Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A sweeping work of historical fiction from the New York Times–bestselling author Dominic Smith, The Electric Hotel is a spellbinding story of art and love. For more than thirty years, Claude Ballard has been living at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel. A French pioneer of silent films who started out as a concession agent for the Lumière brothers, the inventors of cinema, Claude now spends his days foraging for mushrooms in the hills of Los Angeles and taking photographs of runaways and the striplings along Sunset Boulevard. But when a film history student comes to interview Claude about The Electric Hotel—the lost masterpiece that bankrupted him and ended the career of his muse, Sabine Montrose—the past comes surging back. In his run-down hotel suite, the ravages of the past are waiting to be excavated: celluloid fragments in desperate need of restoration, as well as Claude’s memories of the woman who inspired and beguiled him. The Electric Hotel is a portrait of a man entranced by the magic of moviemaking, a luminous romance, and a whirlwind trip through early cinema. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Bright and Distant Shores

Bright and Distant Shores
Author: Dominic Smith
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9781439198889
Available:
Release: 2011-09-13
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos comes a sweeping historical novel set amid the skyscrapers of 1890s Chicago and the far-flung islands of the South Pacific. In the waning years of the nineteenth century there was a hunger for tribal artifacts, spawning collecting voyages from museums and collectors around the globe. In 1897, one such collector, a Chicago insurance magnate, sponsors an expedition into the South Seas to commemorate the completion of his company's new skyscraper--the world's tallest building. The ship is to bring back an array of Melanesian weaponry and handicrafts, but also several natives related by blood. Caught up in this scheme are two orphans—Owen Graves, an itinerant trader from Chicago's South Side who has recently proposed to the girl he must leave behind, and Argus Niu, a mission houseboy in the New Hebrides who longs to be reunited with his sister. At the cusp of the twentieth century, the expedition forces a collision course between the tribal and the civilized, between two young men plagued by their respective and haunting pasts. An epic and ambitious story that brings to mind E. L. Doctorow, with echoes of Melville and Robert Louis Stevenson, Bright and Distant Shores is a wondrous achievement by a writer known for creating compelling fiction from the fabric of history.

The Beautiful Miscellaneous

The Beautiful Miscellaneous
Author: Dominic Smith
Pages: 329
ISBN: 9780743271257
Available:
Release: 2008-07-01
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Possessing a superior intellect that is nevertheless overshadowed by his physicist father's genius, Nathan Nelson fails to fulfill his father's definition of a child prodigy until a head injury enables him to manifest a photographic memory, with unexpected results. Reprint.

The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre

The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre
Author: Dominic Smith
Pages: 336
ISBN: 1416551905
Available:
Release: 2007-01-09
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos reimagines the life of Louis Daguerre, the inventor of photography, who becomes convinced that the world is going to end when his mind unravels due to mercury poisoning. He is determined to reconnect with the only woman he has ever loved before the End comes. Louis Daguerre's story is set against the backdrop of a Paris prone to bohemian excess and social unrest. Poets and dandies debate art and style in the cafes while students and rebels fill the garrets with revolutionary talk and gun smoke. It is here, amid this strange and beguiling setting, that Louis Daguerre sets off to capture his doomsday subjects. Louis enlists the help of the womanizing poet Charles Baudelaire, known to the salon set as the "Prince of Clouds" and a jaded but beautiful prostitute named Pigeon. Together they scour the Paris underworld for images worthy of Daguerre's list. But Louis is also confronted by a chance to reunite with the only woman he's ever loved. Half a lifetime ago, Isobel Le Fournier kissed Louis Daguerre in a wine cave outside of Orleans. The result was a proposal, a rejection, and a misunderstanding that outlasted three kings and an emperor. Now, in the countdown to his apocalypse, Louis wants to understand why he has carried the memory of that kiss for so long.

Luncheon of the Boating Party

Luncheon of the Boating Party
Author: Susan Vreeland
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9781101202289
Available:
Release: 2007-05-03
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the bestelling author of GIRL IN HYACINTH BLUE, "A vivid exploration of one of the most beloved Renoir paintings in the world, done with a flourish worthy of Renoir himself" (USA Today) With her richly textured novels, Susan Vreeland has offered pioneering portraits of artists' lives. As she did in Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Vreeland focuses on a single painting, Auguste Renoir's instantly recognizable masterpiece, which depicts a gathering of Renoir's real friends enjoying a summer Sunday on a café terrace along the Seine. Narrated by Renoir and seven of the models, the novel illuminates the gusto, hedonism, and art of the era. With a gorgeous palette of vibrant, captivating characters, Vreeland paints their lives, loves, losses, and triumphs so vividly that "the painting literally comes alive" (The Boston Globe).

Prairie Fever

Prairie Fever
Author: Michael Parker
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781616209452
Available:
Release: 2019-05-21
Editor: Algonquin Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"Michael Parker has captured a time, place, and sisterhood so perfectly it hurts to turn the last page. A riveting, atmospheric dream of a novel.” --Dominic Smith, author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos Set in the hardscrabble landscape of early 1900s Oklahoma, but timeless in its sensibility, Prairie Fever traces the intense dynamic between the Stewart sisters: the pragmatic Lorena and the chimerical Elise. The two are bound together not only by their isolation on the prairie but also by their deep emotional reliance on each other. That connection supersedes all else until the arrival of Gus McQueen. When Gus arrives in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma, as a first time teacher, his inexperience is challenged by the wit and ingenuity of the Stewart sisters. Then one impulsive decision and a cataclysmic blizzard trap Elise and her horse on the prairie and forever change the balance of everything between the sisters, and with Gus McQueen. With honesty and poetic intensity and the deadpan humor of Paulette Jiles and Charles Portis, Parker reminds us of the consequences of our choices. Expansive and intimate, this novel tells the story of characters tested as much by life on the prairie as they are by their own churning hearts.

The Painter

The Painter
Author: Peter Heller
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780804170154
Available:
Release: 2015-03-03
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Struggling with dark impulses after serving time for attempted murder, a successful artist gives in to his obsessions to kill an abusive troublemaker before fleeing the authorities and the man's vengeful clan.

Car Trouble

Car Trouble
Author: Robert Rorke
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780062848505
Available:
Release: 2018-09-11
Editor: HarperCollins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From a bright new talent, a witty, moving, and inspirational coming-of-age debut novel set in 1970s Brooklyn about a teenager and his abusive father whose obsession with broken down vintage cars careens wildly out of control. “Such a pleasure to read.... This is a coming of age story, but it is also so much more than that.”—Dominic Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos Nicky Flynn is coming-of-age in 1970s Brooklyn, riding into his sophomore year at St. Michaels, the last hurrah of the Diocesan school system. A budding young actor, Nicky is at once sensitive, resilient, exasperated, and keenly observant—especially when it comes to his father, Patrick. Undeniably enigmatic, and coasting on vanity, charm, and desperation, “Himself” as Nicky calls his father, is given to picking up old car junkers, for cheap at NYPD auctions—each sputtering, tail-finned treasure subsidized by poker games. To Patrick, these chrome glamour tanks are his obsessions, repairable reminders of the past when he was young, and everything seemed new and gleaming and possible—before he had a family. For Nicky, each one is a milestone. Whether it’s a harrowing joy ride or a driving lesson, they’re unforgettable markers on his path toward an unpredictable future. But as Patrick’s compulsions slide into alcoholism and abuse, Nicky, his mother, and sisters brace themselves for an inevitable sharp turn in their addled lives. Narrated with humor and a rueful awareness, Car Trouble is an exhilarating novel about acceptance, regret, compassion, and finding your authentic adult self amid the rubble and rumble of growing up.

Tulip Fever

Tulip Fever
Author: Deborah Moggach
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781446485958
Available:
Release: 2012-03-31
Editor: Random House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

'A gorgeous novel' Mail on Sunday From the bestselling author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel comes a thrilling story of power, lust and deception... Seventeenth-century Amsterdam - a city in the grip of tulip fever. Sophia's husband Cornelis is one of the lucky ones grown rich from this exotic new flower. To celebrate, he commissions a talented young artist to paint him with his beautiful bride. But as the portrait grows, so does the passion between Sophia and the painter; and ambitions, desires and dreams breed an intricate deception and a reckless gamble. Now a major film starring Oscar winners Dame Judi Dench, Alicia Vikander and Christoph Waltz and adapted for the screen by Sir Tom Stoppard.

Secrets of Southern Girls

Secrets of Southern Girls
Author: Haley Harrigan
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781492647560
Available:
Release: 2017-06-06
Editor: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"Harrigan's novel, part mystery and part coming-of-age, explores the process of healing from tragedies and misunderstandings."—Publishers Weekly A tender, yet thrilling suspense novel about a young woman who uncovers devastating secrets that will resurrect the people she lost and the lies she buried perfect for fans of Diane Chamberlain and Ellen Marie Wiseman Ten years ago, Julie Portland accidentally killed her best friend, Reba. What's worse is she got away with it. Consumed by guilt, she left the small town of Lawrence Mill, Mississippi, and swore nothing would ever drag her back. Now, raising her daughter and struggling to make ends meet in Manhattan, Julie still can't forget the ghost of a girl with golden hair and a dangerous secret. When August, Reba's first love, begs Julie to come home to find the diary that Reba kept all those years ago, Julie's past comes creeping back to haunt her. That diary could expose the shameful memories Julie has been running from, but it could also unearth the hidden truths that Reba left buried...and reveal that Julie isn't the only one who feels responsible for Reba's death.

The Fragments

The Fragments
Author: Toni Jordan
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781925774047
Available:
Release: 2018-10-29
Editor: Text Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the award-winning, bestselling author of Addition and Nine Days, a superbly crafted and captivating literary mystery about a lost book and a secret love.

The Caroline Paintings

The Caroline Paintings
Author: Arthur D. Hittner
Pages: 274
ISBN: 0998981079
Available:
Release: 2020-01-10
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Loosely inspired by the saga of the Helga Pictures by Andrew Wyeth, The Caroline Paintings is a poignant, five-decade, art-sleuthing saga featuring a beautiful but troubled teenage runaway; a tormented artist; an illegitimate son; an unscrupulous attorney; a beer-loving, art-dabbling, Everyman widower and a quirky Harvard art professor.

The Anatomy Lesson

The Anatomy Lesson
Author: Nina Siegal
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780385538374
Available:
Release: 2014-03-11
Editor: Anchor
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Set in one day in 1632, The Anatomy Lesson is a stunning portrayal of Golden Age Amsterdam and a brilliantly imagined back-story to Rembrandt's first great work of art. Told from several points of view, ranging from a curio dealer who collects bodies for the city’s chief anatomist to philosopher Rene Descartes, the novel opens on the morning of the medical dissection that is to be recorded by the twenty-six-year-old artist from Leiden who has yet to attach his famous signature to a painting. As the story builds to its dramatic and inevitable conclusion, the events that transpire throughout the day sway Rembrandt to make fundamental changes to his initial composition. These changes will remain mysteries for centuries until a young art historian closely examines the painting in the twenty-first century, and makes surprising discoveries about the painter, his process, and his genius for capturing enduring truths about human nature in a single moment.

The Shadow Land

The Shadow Land
Author: Elizabeth Kostova
Pages: 496
ISBN: 9780345527882
Available:
Release: 2017-04-11
Editor: Ballantine Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the #1 bestselling author of The Historian comes a mesmerizing novel that spans the past and the present—and unearths the troubled history of a gorgeous but haunted country. A young American woman, Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving in this elegant East European city, however, she helps an elderly couple into a taxi—and realizes too late that she has accidentally kept one of their bags. Inside she finds an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name: Stoyan Lazarov. Raising the hinged lid, she discovers that she is holding an urn filled with human ashes. As Alexandra sets out to locate the family and return this precious item, she will first have to uncover the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by political oppression—and she will find out all too quickly that this knowledge is fraught with its own danger. Elizabeth Kostova’s new novel is a tale of immense scope that delves into the horrors of a century and traverses the culture and landscape of this mysterious country. Suspenseful and beautifully written, it explores the power of stories, the pull of the past, and the hope and meaning that can sometimes be found in the aftermath of loss. Praise for The Shadow Land “A compelling and complex mystery, strong storytelling, and lyrical writing combine for an engrossing read.”—Publishers Weekly “In The Shadow Land, Elizabeth Kostova, a master storyteller, brings vividly to life an unfamiliar country—Bulgaria—and a painful history that feels particularly relevant now. You won’t want to put down this remarkable book.”—Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs “In this brilliant work, what appears at first a minor mystery quickly becomes emblematic of a whole country’s hidden history. Lyrical and compelling, The Shadow Land proves a profound meditation on how evil is inflicted, endured, and, through courage and compassion, defeated. Elizabeth Kostova’s third novel clearly establishes her as one of America’s finest writers.”—Ron Rash, author of The Risen

Heretics

Heretics
Author: Leonardo Padura
Pages: 544
ISBN: 9780374714284
Available:
Release: 2017-03-14
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"Padura’s Heretics spans and defies literary categories . . . ingenious." —Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air A sweeping novel of art theft, anti-Semitism, contemporary Cuba, and crime from a renowned Cuban author, Heretics is Leonardo Padura's greatest detective work yet. In 1939, the Saint Louis sails from Hamburg into Havana’s port with hundreds of Jewish refugees seeking asylum from the Nazi regime. From the docks, nine-year-old Daniel Kaminsky watches as the passengers, including his mother, father, and sister, become embroiled in a fiasco of Cuban corruption. But the Kaminskys have a treasure that they hope will save them: a small Rembrandt portrait of Christ. Yet six days later the vessel is forced to leave the harbor with the family, bound for the horrors of Europe. The Kaminskys, along with their priceless heirloom, disappear. Nearly seven decades later, the Rembrandt reappears in an auction house in London, prompting Daniel’s son to travel to Cuba to track down the story of his family’s lost masterpiece. He hires the down-on-his-luck private detective Mario Conde, and together they navigate a web of deception and violence in the morally complex city of Havana. In Heretics, Leonardo Padura takes us from the tenements and beaches of Cuba to Rembrandt’s gloomy studio in seventeenth-century Amsterdam, telling the story of people forced to choose between the tenets of their faith and the realities of the world, between their personal desires and the demands of their times. A grand detective story and a moving historical drama, Padura’s novel is as compelling, mysterious, and enduring as the painting at its center.

The Dream Dredger

The Dream Dredger
Author: Roberta Silman
Pages: 184
ISBN: 9781504009577
Available:
Release: 2015-03-31
Editor: Open Road Media
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Pregnant with her first child, Diny Branson is haunted by her mother’s death years ago in the Hudson River. Was it suicide or accident? Slowly, Diny weaves the many threads of Lise’s tragic life—from a fairyland youth to a happy marriage, then through the travails of losing a child. Diny learns how the forces of history, like the coming Holocaust, inflict losses, such as loss of language, that create other more subtle losses—and how the forces of nature, like the majestic Hudson, can be both threat and comfort.

Living in the Weather of the World

Living in the Weather of the World
Author: Richard Bausch
Pages: 242
ISBN: 9780451494825
Available:
Release: 2017
Editor: Knopf
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In these fourteen indelible stories, Richard Bausch once again proves himself a modern master. From the prize-winning novelist and universally acclaimed short story writer ("Richard Bausch is a master of the short story" --The New York Times Book Review), thirteen unforgettable tales that showcase his electrifying artistry. Bausch plumbs the depths of familial and marital estrangement, the violence of suicide and despair, the gulfs between friends and lovers, the complexities of divorce and infidelity, the fragility and impermanence of love. Wherever he casts his gaze, he illuminates the darkest corners of human experience with the bright light of wisdom and compassion, finding grace and redemption amidst sorrow and regret. Bausch's stories are simply extraordinary.