Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Review: The Artist’s Secret

Title: The Artist’s Secret
Author: Alexandra Joel

Publisher: 4th January 2023 by HarperCollins Australia

Pages: 379 pages

Genre: romance, women’s fiction

My Rating: 5 cups


The sweeping new saga of strong heroines and family secrets from the bestselling author of The Paris Model. While searching for her lost sister, art historian Wren Summers takes on the glittering world of New York's auction houses.

A missing girl, a hidden masterpiece, and the search for the truth

1965: A beautiful young couple escapes the suffocating weight of family expectations to live a life free of materialism and tradition. But the past does not always let go so easily ...

1987: Art historian Wren Summers starts her dream job at Sydney Art Museum and quickly makes a name for herself. She keeps quiet about her unconventional upbringing and flighty but talented artist mother. Then, just as everything she has built looks to come crashing down around her, shocking family secrets come to light.

Wren heads to New York in search of answers as well as a fresh start, and is swept up in the glittering world of fine art sales and high-stakes auctions. Can she navigate the swirling temptations and pitfalls of glamour and romance, betrayals and deceit while holding true to what is right?

My Thoughts

Alexandra Joel … take a bow 👏 I loved your previous books but I feel that The Artist’s Secret is next level, your best yet - wonderful! A dual time narrative going between 1965 and 1987 seamlessly weaving historical fact and fiction that provides her readers with a highly engaging tale.

‘These were the moments art historians lived for.’

This book presented a riveting tale that I was so eager to return to and lose myself in. The story was well written incorporating themes of art, workplace discrimination, family secrets, love and friendships set against backgrounds from Sydney, Rome and New York. The 1965 timeline briefly touches on a young couple running away from conscription to the Vietnam war. The main focus is on Wren in the 1980s and I enjoyed her journey from hippie childhood, to attempting to break into the Art Auction scene which takes her all around the world and even facing up against the Mafia. There is action and adventure, romance and betrayals all set against a highly engaging story. 

‘You know, it doesn't matter where you have come from. What counts is who you want to be.’

I have no doubts that there is something for everyone in this multi-layered story - from art and auctions, from finding love and even yourself. Readers are sure to be enthralled with this intriguing and lively tale.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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