Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Permanent Press (October 1, 2010)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Dissemblers is the story of a woman searching for greatness and beauty, only to find that neither greatness nor beauty are exactly what she thought.
Ivy Wilkes always assumed she would achieve greatness as a painter. She moves to Santa Fe in search of the light and landscape that inspired her idol, Georgia O'Keeffe. At first, Ivy embraces life in the artsy desert town, working in the O'Keeffe museum by day and spending her evenings with Omar, the seductive cousin of her upstairs neighbors. But when Ivy's own painting stagnates, she finds herself paralyzed by the fear that she will never paint anything of worth. Unable to create anything original, she begins imitating O'Keeffe's work and is enticed by an offer to create O'Keeffe forgeries to sell on the black market.
The paintings sell, but Ivy's secrets isolate her from those she loves. When a mysterious man appears at the museum, asking questions about O'Keeffe forgeries, Ivy's bonds of love and friendship are tested. In her struggle to find her own artistic voice, she navigates the space between pride and guilt, love and selfishness, with devastating consequences.
Rendered in concentrated prose, The Dissemblers explores themes of isolation and misunderstanding. The emotions are subtle, and the characters continually thwart their own best intentions and harbor mutually exclusive desires.
My take on this book:
Ivy Wilkes grew up in Boston, attended art school in Chicago and basically idolized Georgia O'keeffe, so much so that when she graduated art school she moved to Santa Fe New Mexico where Ms. O'keeffe lived and took a job at the Georgia O'keeffe museum. Ivy thought of herself as an above average painter and to practice her painting she would imitate, or copy Georgia's paintings, she didn't see anything wrong with it because they had often done it at school and she was really good at it.
When she meets a co worker, Jake who actually lives upstairs from Ivy with his girlfriend Maya, the trio soon become very close and soon Ivy is introduced to John's cousin Omar.
Maya soon approaches Ivy with a scheme of selling the copies of the O'keeffe paintings, seems Maya had done this sort of thing before and thinks that they can pass Ivy's work off as the real deal, she even has a guy in New York who can give the paintings documentation, providing a documentation of who and where the paintings have been.
Ivy decides to participate in Maya's scheme convincing herself that she wasn't copying Georgia's work only working in the same style, but soon she is so lost in what she is doing she feels as if she has become invisible, that she will never be famous in her own right because no one will ever know she painted the copies.
When a strange man shows up at the museum things quickly come unraveled and Ivy soon fears she may loose everything including her freedom!
This book was a little slow to start but once it got going it became a real page turner. Because the author writes as if we are looking thru the eyes of an artist the descriptions of colors and details are very vivid. When the story unfolds you realize that each person has their own agenda, about why they did what they did.
I felt like this was a very well written work of fiction that gives us a glimpse at self fulfillment,and how the longing for fame and recognition can often obscure the truth between right and wrong.
Thanks to Permanent Press Publishing for providing me a copy of this book for review.