Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient. In response, Marlowe finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver.
Do not expect any similarity to Kostova's first novel. This one is intriguing initially, with the time shifts between current day, and late 19th Century France. The narrators do a good job of presenting the nuances of very finely "drawn" characters. However, as with too many notes in music, too many words, too many flashbacks, too many unresolved questions...all create a feeling of disappointment and a gradual wearing down of interest, to the point that I just finally gave up two thirds of the way through. Maybe I'll go back to it in a few months and finish, because I do love Elizabeth's writing style.
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