Sunday, July 2, 2017

Impossible Views of the World - by Lucy Ives: Book Review

Author: Lucy Ives
No. Pages: 304
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publishing Date: 1.08.2017
Format: Kindle
This novel sure is witty, but it didn't feel like a neurotic humor, nor did I find it dazzling, and I certainly did not find Paul's secret "unbearable".

I did like the lost-at-thirty-years-old thing Stella had going on there. Made her more humane, and that was necessary because all her pretentious words made her seem all put together and snob-ish in the beginning. She reveals more about her life and you get to know her better. I still have a curiosity and this thought popped into my head a few times while reading - what exactly was her job at the museum? And speaking of those bombastic words, there were a lot. Sure, I read to learn new words, but it's too much when on the same page there is at least one word that I have to look up. Maybe it's just because English is my second language, but this sure was an impediment. However, the witty part about this novel was this exact speech - she is funny, sometimes deep, you chuckle at some parts, and that works in her favor.

The plot, minimal as it was, is centered around a museum, and that immediately creates the perfect background for mystery and secrets. I had a hard time keeping up with all the bits of information she came upon. I think this is because the novel was in the first person narrative, and every time she figured something out she expected us to have an aa-haaa! moment as well. Well, explain it to us, mere mortals with no PhD in art history. I still have this feeling that I missed something and now it's (obviously) too late to understand it all. And as I mentioned, I didn't find any secret as unbearable and shocking. I've read worse. Or better, depending how you look at it.

I liked the way she over-analyzed everything, I had no problem having patience for that. However, I didn't have any patience for her love life drama, but it was good that she had two major things going on in her life during the week the novel takes place in. A mother with whom she has a not loved based relationship; an emotionally distant father, but still present and helpful; two men she loves or not; a man who's dead and into whose life she decides to look into and then take it upon herself to discover his hidden things and side job; and a fourth man who thank goodness doesn't become her lover in the course of that week - yeah, it was a packed-full week; only in novels.

Surely this novel would appeal more to art lovers, to those with a knack for modern mysteries, and novels set in museums. I wish I liked this novel more, but I knew it wasn't something I enjoyed reading when I chose to watch TV instead, and I hardly every do that.

I received a free e-book copy of the novel from the publisher via Net Galley. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

List of Characters:
Stella Krakus
Paul Coral - museum curator, gone missing, dead
Mary Carol Lynch - Stella's mother
Fredrick Lu - museum curator, Stella's ex-lover, colleague
Bonnie Mangold - museum employee, Stella's boss
Marco - museum employee
Whitaker Ghiscolmb - Stella's ex-husband
Nicola di Carboncino - museum director

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