Jul 13 2006
Dear Ms. Pace:
Jayne raved about this book when it first came out and it has only taken me a year to read it. I am not sure why I waited other than the fact that I can be a cheapskate at times and didn’t want to splurge on a trade paperback. But you showed up at my library and I snapped you up. Now I am wondering why I waited so long?
The book is standard chick lit fare: plucky heroine finds her world falling apart and must spend the book reorienting her life. Jane Laine finds out her boyfriend of two years has started a new relationship without telling her. She has a job at an art gallery working for the most horrible man on earth. The gallery’s main claim to fame is the representation of Ian Rhys-Fitzsimmon. Ian is the hottest modern artist of our time, according to the book. Ian plans to do a summer art festival tour that takes him all over the world. His art sells best after the art fairs and he requests that Jane accompany him.
Jane doesn’t understand his work, or Ian, and therefore decides that he is a poser. She doesn’t particularly like him and whether that dislike stems from her failure to understand his work or that he willingly associates himself with the most horrible man alive, is unclear to both the narrator and the reader. What is clear to the reader is that Ian is a decent guy who despite his success is unassuming and good company. It is self evident that because Jane has lost herself, her vision of life not quite clear and she continues to doubt Ian’s decency.
The book is at its best when it focuses on the art, the art fairs, Jane’s family and her battles with Dick, the art gallery owner from hell. The book falters when it focuses on Jane and her myopic view of life. She tends to indulge in self pity and continues to make bad decisions until very close to the end.
I did love the art fair scenes and the Andy Warhol quotes. In the end, I did believe in the happily ever after. B for you.