It’s been so long…

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Oh, how I laughed when I read the topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet. Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish notes that it’s sad that she’s had some books for six years and still hasn’t read them…. Six years? Pfft. One of the books on my list has been sitting next to my bed for fourteen years. Continue reading

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim – a Literary Mixtape

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I was prompted to retrieve The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Armin from the depths of the reading stack thanks to Madame Bibi Lophile’s review – the quotes she chose were charming.

I began reading and quickly discovered that it’s a book full of charming. When I’d highlighted my millionth favourite quote I realised a literary mix tape was in order (forgive me the Hall & Oates…).

Rainy Days and Mondays – The Carpenters

It began in a Woman’s Club in London on a February afternoon – an uncomfortable club, and a miserable afternoon… Continue reading

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith

I’ve been wondering if ‘art-thriller’ is a genre… I’m thinking books such as What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt, Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and my latest read, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith. Why does the art world make such a good backdrop for fiction? Perhaps because it involves creativity, big personalities, money, glamour, sacrifice and poverty? Or maybe I’m over-thinking it and creating tenuous links between these books…?

A rare painting, titled ‘At the Edge of the Wood’, provides the link between three separate places, times and characters in this tightly told cat-and-mouse story. The painting is by Sara de Vos, a Dutch artist of the Golden Age and the first woman to be accepted as a Master painter into the Guild. Fast forward to New York in the late fifties, when the painting hangs on millionaire Marty de Groot’s bedroom wall. Meanwhile, struggling Australian doctorate student, Ellie Shipley, is living in Brooklyn and making ends meet by doing art restoration work…and a forgery. Smith brings the story to the present day where, at an art exhibition in Sydney, the pasts of Sara, Marty and Ellie collide. Continue reading