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The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro
HarperCollins
ISBN: 978-1616201326
Published Oct 23, 2012
Kindle version, 368 pages

Claire Roth reproduces paintings for a living. She is a talented artist who is an expert on Degas, but who longs to have her own paintings displayed. However, she lost her confidence when she stirred up the art world a few years back with a scandal including her ex-lover who had also been her art professor. So when a well-known art gallery owner visits her studio to make a deal with her to copy the famous Degas painting, stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum years ago, in exchange for her own show at his famous gallery, she is pulled in and finds herself spiraling in a world of deceit.

There are many things I loved about The Art Forger. I was immersed in the art world which is fascinating, including forgery of famous paintings and exactly how it is done. Wow, that blew me away, to learn how an artist can use methods to make a copy look and feel so authentic that even scientific methods of verifying could not detect the forgery. This book had me doing research on the Internet. It made me want to visit museums and stare at the paintings.

Claire was an interesting character in that she was a great artist, intelligent, dedicated and vulnerable, but a lousy judge of character. I could empathize about and understand her relationship with the first man; she was young and impressionable. But I wanted to shake her when she threw caution aside and got involved with the second man. She had been burnt before and her current situation was already precarious. But her flawed character and the intriguing plot is what kept me turning the pages.

I also loved how the story was unpredictable. It kept me guessing how it would all end. It's true that the ending was tied up nice and neat, but after everything that happened I didn't mind. I wanted Claire to get a break, even though she made some stupid mistakes. She was honest and her love of painting, of creating, was so strong, I could relate to her passion. In summary, this was a great novel to escape into.

If you love art, the art world, a good story that's different, and an easy read, pick up The Art Forger. I'm positive you will learn things about art you never knew.

Note: This book is rated P = Profanity for a few f-bombs and S = sex scenes, not explicit.

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: I bought this book and was not told how to rate or review this product.

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