The Collector’s Apprentice
From The Bestselling Author of The Art Forger and The MuralistIt’s the summer of 1922, and nineteen-year-old Paulien Mertens finds herself in Paris—broke, disowned, and completely alone. Everyone in Belgium, including her own family, believes she stole millions in a sophisticated con game perpetrated by her then-fiancé, George Everard. To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who lost everything, she creates a new identity, a Frenchwoman named Vivienne Gregsby, and sets out to recover her father’s art collection, prove her innocence—and exact revenge on George.When the eccentric and wealthy American art collector Edwin Bradley offers Vivienne the perfect job, she is soon caught up in the Parisian world of post-Impressionists and expatriates—including Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse, with whom Vivienne becomes romantically entwined. As she travels between Paris and Philadelphia, where Bradley is building an art museum, her life becomes even more complicated: George returns with unclear motives . . . and then Vivienne is arrested for Bradley’s murder.B. A. Shapiro has made the historical art thriller her own. In The Collector’s Apprentice, she gives us an unforgettable tale about the lengths to which people will go for their obsession, whether it be art, money, love, or vengeance.

The Collector’s Apprentice Details

TitleThe Collector’s Apprentice
Author
ReleaseOct 16th, 2018
PublisherAlgonquin Books
ISBN-139781616203580
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Art, Cultural, France

The Collector’s Apprentice Review

  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Schemers and scoundrels hide and blend behind the scenes like the blurred textures within an art masterpiece. Within time, though, the eyes focus more readily and true colors are ultimately revealed.It's 1922 at a small estate in Belgium and we find Paulien Mertens lost in the pangs of love. Her nineteen years on this earth don't adequately prepare her for the waves of ill-intent by one George Everard. George has presented her with a sizable engagement ring. But what doesn't ring true are his sh Schemers and scoundrels hide and blend behind the scenes like the blurred textures within an art masterpiece. Within time, though, the eyes focus more readily and true colors are ultimately revealed.It's 1922 at a small estate in Belgium and we find Paulien Mertens lost in the pangs of love. Her nineteen years on this earth don't adequately prepare her for the waves of ill-intent by one George Everard. George has presented her with a sizable engagement ring. But what doesn't ring true are his shifty ways. Paulien convinces her father into investing with ol' George. The aftermath leaves the Mertens family without their art nor their fortune. Cast out by her angry family, Paulien heads to Paris. She is forced to reinvent herself including her own name. While keeping ahead of scandal, Paulien becomes Vivienne Gregsby. With very few coins in her handbag, Vivienne rents a tiny rundown apartment. She takes on new employment while working in a millinery shop, becoming a waitress, an art model, and eventually a translator. But this last option will open a heavy door that will drastically change Vivienne's life forever.Vivienne will meet Dr. Edwin Bradley, an American art collector who wishes to deal with avant-garde galleries. B.A. Shapiro intermixes her story with the likes of Henri Matisse and actual historical figures of the day as Bradley employs Vivienne to assist him in acquiring a high-end collection. We will find ourselves in the salon of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas as well. Shapiro develops Vivienne with a fine-tuned artistic sensibility. As Bradley's collection grows, so does Vivienne's desire to re-engage with her family's lost art. She also wishes to once again connect with the conniving George. But will this ambition be her eventual downfall?I enjoyed The Collector's Apprentice as Shapiro wraps it in true artistic appreciation. But Shapiro also adds heavy brushstrokes of human greed and desire. Her characters take on a different hue when placed in iffy situations. My favorites of Shapiro are still The Muralist and The Art Forger. You may want to check these out as well. Shapiro is a master at blending the art world with the art of fiction.I received a copy of The Collector's Apprentice through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Algonquin Books and to B.A. Shapiro for the opportunity.
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  • Laura Rash
    January 1, 1970
    A Ponzi scheme leads a woman to start a new life with a new identity in the art world. Just not my cup of tea tho I enjoyed her last book. This was a Goodreads win.
  • Linda Quinn
    January 1, 1970
    This is another gem from Shapiro. A young woman is preyed upon and tricked by an older con man, leading to the ruin of her family and her banishment from them. The rest of the story moves forward from her banishment and into the past to show how she got there. Full of passion, betrayal and a satisfying denouement this one will keep you hooked.
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  • Julie Klein
    January 1, 1970
    In The Collector's Apprentice, B.A. Shapiro takes readers back in time to the art world of the 1920s where we meet Matisse, Gertrude Stein and other visionaries of the day. It's a wonderful historical novel for anyone interested in art and art history, in particular. The story is well written, fairly fast paced, and exciting. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Shapiro's earlier work, The Art Forger.
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  • Rljulie
    January 1, 1970
    I’m probably too close to the material to read this objectively, but it’s a frolicking and fun art-centered historical fiction, even when it gets the “history” part wackily and egregiously wrong. My least favorite aspect is how the main character seems to have time-travelled from the 21st century, with its mores, attitudes and expectations—so much so that at one point she’s trying to figure out how to work her art history degree into a curatorial career. And yet this is supposed to happen in the I’m probably too close to the material to read this objectively, but it’s a frolicking and fun art-centered historical fiction, even when it gets the “history” part wackily and egregiously wrong. My least favorite aspect is how the main character seems to have time-travelled from the 21st century, with its mores, attitudes and expectations—so much so that at one point she’s trying to figure out how to work her art history degree into a curatorial career. And yet this is supposed to happen in the 1920’s? And then you’ve got Matisse gluing paper to the gallery walls...yeah, I got distracted whenever the research got sloppy. As I said, I’m definitely too close to the material. But I appreciate the mystery just the same—it kept me turning pages. Someday, someone is going to write a really good bio of Dr. Barnes, art collector, including the scandals, sex, outrages, art world gossip, and naughty parts, and THAT is going to be a terrific five-star read. Until then, we’ll just have to make do with this fictional one.[Book Expo ARC 2018]
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    This is an incredibly interesting novel about the young woman who worked with the fictioalized Albert Barnes in assembling the magnificent Barnes Collection in Philadelphia. Vivienne had been duped by a con man and lost her comfort and her family. She totally reinvents herself and finds work as an assistant to the millionaire art collector. She works with him in Europe and ultimately moves to Philadelphia as his aide. What should have been a happy change in her troubled life, becomes a nightmare This is an incredibly interesting novel about the young woman who worked with the fictioalized Albert Barnes in assembling the magnificent Barnes Collection in Philadelphia. Vivienne had been duped by a con man and lost her comfort and her family. She totally reinvents herself and finds work as an assistant to the millionaire art collector. She works with him in Europe and ultimately moves to Philadelphia as his aide. What should have been a happy change in her troubled life, becomes a nightmare. Vivienne is wrongly accused and winds up in prison. There are endless twists and turns within the novel. The author also makes use of many famous people and gives the reader sufficient information to place them. This is a fine read, definitely should be followed by a visit to the Barnes in its magnificent new home. Every reader should be sure to read the Author ‘s Note at the end of the book which explains the clever manipulation of the real and the fictional.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Not bad. I liked the parts with Matisse best.
  • Marianne
    January 1, 1970
    Paulien Mertens, AKA Vivienne Gregsby, is determined to get back what's been taken from her and her family by her fiance, a con man with global schemes. Can Vivienne beat him at his own game or will she find it impossible to let go of her feelings and join him for the ultimate con? B. A. Shapiro creates a world of mystery, romance and obsession that's sure to please readers and art history lovers.
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  • Siobhan
    January 1, 1970
    This is my first B.A. Shapiro novel and it did not disappoint. The novel takes place throughout the twenties, switching point of views and going between first and third person depending on the narrator. If you are into impressionist artists, the roaring twenties and some mystery/con artists, you will enjoy this book! It was slow to start but once everyone is introduced, the plot starts to pick up. Paulien grows from an innocent teen into a woman who knows what she wants and tries to obtain it an This is my first B.A. Shapiro novel and it did not disappoint. The novel takes place throughout the twenties, switching point of views and going between first and third person depending on the narrator. If you are into impressionist artists, the roaring twenties and some mystery/con artists, you will enjoy this book! It was slow to start but once everyone is introduced, the plot starts to pick up. Paulien grows from an innocent teen into a woman who knows what she wants and tries to obtain it any way she can. A note that this is a historical fiction, so toxic masculinity is demonstrated throughout the book but the main male characters.Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a free arc of this book in exchange for a review. This does not affect my opinion.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this book a lot. Love Shapiro and her representations of art. Sometimes I wish there were photographs to show the paintings she describes. I loved Vivienne and her courage to start a new life and be her own woman, learning a new trade and having an important job. I didn't love the back and forth with the court case, but I did like the ending a lot. Quick and satisfying.
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  • Tina Panik
    January 1, 1970
    Shapiro has done it again: art, intrigue, mystery, and betrayal, all rolled into one!This was an ARC from Book Expo NYC.
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Paulien Mertens, a young woman from a distinguished family, finds herself alone and penniless in Paris 1922. Her fiancé bilked her family and friends out of millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme and believing she played a part in the deception her family disinherits her. Although innocent of any duplicity, she must rebuild her life by reinventing herself with a new name Vivienne Gregsby. She meets a wealthy art collector named Edwin Bradley from America who needs an interpreter to help him on hi Paulien Mertens, a young woman from a distinguished family, finds herself alone and penniless in Paris 1922. Her fiancé bilked her family and friends out of millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme and believing she played a part in the deception her family disinherits her. Although innocent of any duplicity, she must rebuild her life by reinventing herself with a new name Vivienne Gregsby. She meets a wealthy art collector named Edwin Bradley from America who needs an interpreter to help him on his art buying trip. Using some of the skills her former fiancé used, she manages to manipulate Edwin into buying her family's most cherished paintings and becomes his invaluable assistant when he travels back to America to build his own art museum. I wanted very much to like Paulien/Vivienne but she seemed to be an entitled whiny young woman who can't see past her own desires to restore her family's paintings to them which she believes will earn their forgiveness. Her indifferent treatment of her benefactor Edwin, who is secretly in love with her, is very cold and callous. She only shows real emotion when she's with Henri Matisse or gazing at the artwork around her. Although I thought this book was okay, I would recommend it to my fellow book lovers so they can form their own opinions about it.
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  • Alissa
    January 1, 1970
    A rich mystery with a historical setting and an unreliable narrator. The story shifts between the first meeting of Vivienne and Edwin and also the tale of the trial going on.
  • Chris Markley
    January 1, 1970
    Paulien loves art and her dream is to share art with the world. After her world is shattered by her con man fiancee she has to reinvent herself and becomes Vivienne. As Vivienne she has the opportunity to reenter the art world as the adviser to wealthy collector Edwin Bradley. But when Bradley dies will Vivienne be able to survive? A story of art and love and betrayal that provides a fascinating glimpse into the art world of the early 20th century in the United States and Paris.Thanks to NetGall Paulien loves art and her dream is to share art with the world. After her world is shattered by her con man fiancee she has to reinvent herself and becomes Vivienne. As Vivienne she has the opportunity to reenter the art world as the adviser to wealthy collector Edwin Bradley. But when Bradley dies will Vivienne be able to survive? A story of art and love and betrayal that provides a fascinating glimpse into the art world of the early 20th century in the United States and Paris.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC for my honest review.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    This was a highly fictionalized book inspired by Albert Barnes who created the collection now housed by the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. It's 1922 and Paulien Mertens is on the run after her fiance is revealed to be the head of a Ponzi scheme that everyone believes she too had a hand in. She assumes the name Vivienne Gregsby and moves to Paris where she becomes connected to the art world rubbing elbows with people like Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse. Her ultimate goal is to get back her This was a highly fictionalized book inspired by Albert Barnes who created the collection now housed by the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. It's 1922 and Paulien Mertens is on the run after her fiance is revealed to be the head of a Ponzi scheme that everyone believes she too had a hand in. She assumes the name Vivienne Gregsby and moves to Paris where she becomes connected to the art world rubbing elbows with people like Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse. Her ultimate goal is to get back her father's art collection, which was lost during the scandal. She enters the employ of art collector Edwin Bradley who is attempting to build a museum of post-Impressionist art in Philadelphia, but things become increasingly complicated by her ex-fiance's reappearance and her indictment for Edwin's murder. I really loved B.A. Shapiro's previous books, but for some reason this one didn't grab me as much. All the stuff with her ex-fiance seemed overly convoluted. Neither the plot nor the characters really did much for me.
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  • Gail
    January 1, 1970
    This book has something for everyone: art, murder (or not), skullduggery, Paris, Philadelphia, and more art. Taking place in the 1920’s, it’s easy to follow along the jumps in time. Recommended.
  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    I think this book should be subtitled "Who's the Real Con Artist?"It's a delightful story about a man, who fleeces a French family and their friends out of all they possess using a pyramid scheme, and escapes with "suitcases full of money". He changes his identity and does it all over again. And again. Meantime, the daughter of the family has also reinvented herself and has a great job with an American billionaire art collector. Names change, locations change, almost too quickly to be recognized I think this book should be subtitled "Who's the Real Con Artist?"It's a delightful story about a man, who fleeces a French family and their friends out of all they possess using a pyramid scheme, and escapes with "suitcases full of money". He changes his identity and does it all over again. And again. Meantime, the daughter of the family has also reinvented herself and has a great job with an American billionaire art collector. Names change, locations change, almost too quickly to be recognized, and then the billionaire is dead [murdered??]. A clever whodunit that will keep you guessing as you love to hate the con man all the way through.I read this EARC courtesy of NetGalley and Algonquin Books. pub date 10/16/18
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  • Dottie Resnick
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully written book following a young Belgium woman in the 1920's. After being deceived by her fiancé, and her family and many others being conned by the same man, she moves to Paris to restart her life. After many menial jobs she is able to land a job as an interpreter, then assistant, then apprentice for a wealthy American art collector. She is welcomed into the Paris art scene, including Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse. She then moves to America with her benefactor boss to help set up h Beautifully written book following a young Belgium woman in the 1920's. After being deceived by her fiancé, and her family and many others being conned by the same man, she moves to Paris to restart her life. After many menial jobs she is able to land a job as an interpreter, then assistant, then apprentice for a wealthy American art collector. She is welcomed into the Paris art scene, including Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse. She then moves to America with her benefactor boss to help set up his museum and art school, always with the intent to recover her father's art collection and exact her revenge from her former fiancé. Many twists and turns, intrigues, heartaches and ultimately the revenge she desires.
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  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    A great escape! And just when you think you know what will happen next, surprise. Discovered B.A. Shapiro a few years ago and absolutely love her books. Who knew the art world could be so thrilling!
  • Alice
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, what a great book! I just love the Barnes, the old Barnes Museum in Marion. I had no idea that it was about that until I stated reading the book. This story and the characters kept me coming back- I think this the author's best yet (the Art Forger and the Muralist). Shifting time frames and characters reveal secret plots, deceptions, theft and multiple identities throughout several countries. Masterfully unfolding story lines reveal the author's genuine knowledge of great art and her abilit Wow, what a great book! I just love the Barnes, the old Barnes Museum in Marion. I had no idea that it was about that until I stated reading the book. This story and the characters kept me coming back- I think this the author's best yet (the Art Forger and the Muralist). Shifting time frames and characters reveal secret plots, deceptions, theft and multiple identities throughout several countries. Masterfully unfolding story lines reveal the author's genuine knowledge of great art and her ability to write a great story with fully developed characters- making this a must read.
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  • Sherry
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsIn 1922, after her family disowns her after because they were swindled by her fiancée, Paula Mertens ends up in Pariswhere she remakes herself, changes her name, lives a life among famous painters, and she gets a job helping Edwin Bradley buy expensive art for his museum.What happens is a tale of love, money, and vengeance and how far will someone go to get these?Once again BA Shapiro does not disappoint.
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  • Ashley Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Highly enjoyable, full review to come.
  • Tx_Madrone
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you for the ARC @Ann_Collette. The Collector's Apprentice by @bashapiro was the perfect choice to take along on my vacation. As the fictional characters weave their story through a cast of historical figures & events, there is genuine suspense. Nothing and no one is quite what it seems.
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  • Jamckean
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Shapiro’s THE ART FORGER and THE MURALIST, so I was thrilled to get my hands on THE COLLECTOR’S APPRENTICE. Just like her previous novels, it is a perfect blend of art, history, scandal and suspense. A thoroughly enjoyable read!
  • Pamela Barrett
    January 1, 1970
    First love, so full of happiness and promise for the future, but for 19 year old Paulien Mertens who has to runaway from her home in Brussels, and is now hiding in Paris, all she is left with is heartbreak and a tiny hope that her fiancé didn’t deliberately take her family fortune and destroy their future together.In Paris, Paulien re-invents herself as Vivienne, and she falls back on the one thing she loves; Art. From the time she was a child her father filled their home with masterpieces from First love, so full of happiness and promise for the future, but for 19 year old Paulien Mertens who has to runaway from her home in Brussels, and is now hiding in Paris, all she is left with is heartbreak and a tiny hope that her fiancé didn’t deliberately take her family fortune and destroy their future together.In Paris, Paulien re-invents herself as Vivienne, and she falls back on the one thing she loves; Art. From the time she was a child her father filled their home with masterpieces from well known artists, and a small collection of Impressionistic artwork that art critics didn’t like; but she loved them. Wanting to feel that connection to her father, she looks for jobs in galleries, and starts modeling for painters. Poor but safe, she meets a wealthy American Art Collector and her destiny changes again. With Dr. Edwin Bradley she is brought into the inner circle of the 1920’s art scene at Gertrude Stein’s house. As Dr. Bradley recognizes her expertise, he wants her to help him in Philadelphia with his newly acquired art collection. To follow him to America gives her a great opportunity to realize her dreams, but can she leave behind everything familiar and the lingering doubts about her fiancé? When I was offered this book I knew nothing about the story, the title was enough to peak my interest. I had read B. A. Shapiro’s The Art Forger which was based on a true story, and I loved it because I’m married to an artist who loves “behind the scenes” art history and I could ask him about the people and places she wrote about. So I was a few chapters into this book before I realized it sounded familiar and when I told him about the storyline and that it reminded me of a documentary we saw, he told me it was about the Barnes Collection. At the end of the novel, the author goes into more detail about how it is loosely based on Albert Barnes and his assistant. The author does a beautiful job bringing this time period to life; I got caught up in the characters lives and the blurring of motives. Even though it was frustrating, I liked how she didn’t let the reader see everything at once and kept all the storylines moving until the end. The Collector’s Apprentice is a painting with words that took many complex layers of color to complete. 5 stars
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  • Lynn Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    Why is everything that Shapiro writes so dang good?? I’ve enjoyed her two previous novels that I read (The Art Forger and The Muralist), and this one was also a fantastic read.Paulien moves to Paris with one thing on her mind - laying low until everyone stops hating her. Her fiancé George got her family and friends into some financial trouble, and she’s waiting patiently for him to sort it out so they can carry on with their lives. She quickly discovers that he was actually scamming everyone, in Why is everything that Shapiro writes so dang good?? I’ve enjoyed her two previous novels that I read (The Art Forger and The Muralist), and this one was also a fantastic read.Paulien moves to Paris with one thing on her mind - laying low until everyone stops hating her. Her fiancé George got her family and friends into some financial trouble, and she’s waiting patiently for him to sort it out so they can carry on with their lives. She quickly discovers that he was actually scamming everyone, including her, and she’s believed to be involved. Upon realizing that she can’t make a life for herself as Paulien Mertens, she changes her name and goes after a career in art. As Vivienne, she becomes an assistant to a rich art collector on a quest to get as many pieces as possible. It is through this that she learns about art, love, and revenge.The story is primarily from Vivienne’s POV, occasionally switching to other characters. It bounces between time a bit, parts from before Paulien became Vivienne, and some parts are from Vivienne’s journal, outlining the details of a murder trial she’s involved in.I loved basically everything about this book. The art world, the love story, the developed friendships, the suspected murder, all of it. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that I found no characters to be wonderful or good - they all had downfalls and traits that made me frustrated, which is the mark of a realistic character. I wasn’t even always rooting for Vivienne throughout the story.This book is based loosely on a true story, but the author herself admits to many literary freedoms. I loved the sprinkles of history throughout, and the name-dropping of famous artists and writers was interesting.Overall, I loved this book. I definitely recommend!
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed the Art Forger so much and was looking forward to Shapiro’s latest work and perhaps it my level of expectation that jaded me, but whereas I was sympathetic to the forger in her first book, I found no likable characters in this one. Vivienne’s rich parents were more in love with their money and lifestyle than their daughter, and when she needed them, they cast her out. Vivienne goes into survival mode, developing her art appreciation skills and also honing her skills of using other peop I enjoyed the Art Forger so much and was looking forward to Shapiro’s latest work and perhaps it my level of expectation that jaded me, but whereas I was sympathetic to the forger in her first book, I found no likable characters in this one. Vivienne’s rich parents were more in love with their money and lifestyle than their daughter, and when she needed them, they cast her out. Vivienne goes into survival mode, developing her art appreciation skills and also honing her skills of using other people.Vivienne’s con-man lover was the lowest of the low. I admired Shapiro’s development of his character far more than I liked him. She was successful in making me loath him. I absolutely didn’t believe his avowals as a changed man, changed by love. A leopard doesn’t change his spots! The thing I absolutely love about Shapiro’s books is her knowledge of art and art works, skillfully woven into the narrative, reminding me of my art history classes. The book is brilliant, but I didin’t get much pleasure out of all the cons out-conning, conniving and scheming. I did love the sense of place that Shapiro delivered, both in Philadelphia and in Paris - an art lover’s thriller. Thanks NetGalley and Algonquin Books for the opportunity to read this.
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  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    This is the story of Belgian young woman who has been a victim of a con man's swindle that has devastated her family and the others in their social network. As a result of the con, of which her family believed that she was a part, they have disowned her. Her childhood was remarkable for the close relationship with her father that had developed over their shared love of visual art. In Paris, she secures a position as a translator for a wealthy American who is there to develop his art collection o This is the story of Belgian young woman who has been a victim of a con man's swindle that has devastated her family and the others in their social network. As a result of the con, of which her family believed that she was a part, they have disowned her. Her childhood was remarkable for the close relationship with her father that had developed over their shared love of visual art. In Paris, she secures a position as a translator for a wealthy American who is there to develop his art collection on a large scale. This sounds like a set up for a romance, but it's not! As in her novel The Art Forger, B.A. Shapiro gives us a gripping plot and a taste of what it is like to be an insightfully creative art lover. I have to say that I had trouble being sympathetic with the characters to the point that I was annoyed and grumpy while reading much of it. Maybe that's what the author was going for, if so, it definitely works. However, the main characters do develop a great deal over the course of the book in a way that makes it worthwhile to stick with it despite their less than savory qualities.
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  • Daniel Villines
    January 1, 1970
    This is my second novel by Shapiro. The first, The Art Forger, was impressive. She used the magic of words to make paintings come alive so that they could be loved by the reader as they were loved by her main character; just as art has been loved by me from time-to-time. And while the novel was technically a mystery novel, this tired format took a backseat to the power and beauty of art.Almost in direct contrast with The Art Forger, The Collector’s Apprentice flips the balance of art and mystery This is my second novel by Shapiro. The first, The Art Forger, was impressive. She used the magic of words to make paintings come alive so that they could be loved by the reader as they were loved by her main character; just as art has been loved by me from time-to-time. And while the novel was technically a mystery novel, this tired format took a backseat to the power and beauty of art.Almost in direct contrast with The Art Forger, The Collector’s Apprentice flips the balance of art and mystery around. I was hoping for another journey through art, but most of this novel’s focus is on the mystery. Shapiro uses time and story to mask truths that are predestined to be revealed at the end of the book. The reader is simply following a string through a maze.I think that Shapiro could be a better writer rather than one that needs to rest upon mystery novels and it's disheartening to see the mystery novel format taking hold over her ability to write beautifully about art. Given the pure joy of experiencing her talent in making art come alive, I know there is an even better novel in her waiting to be written.
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  • Catherine at The Gilmore Guide to Books
    January 1, 1970
    Before I share my thoughts on The Collector’s Apprentice, B.A. Shapiro’s new art world novel, I need to fess up that this books contains two big pieces of literary kryptonite for me. One is kind of obvious—the cover. I love the era of well-dressed, elegant women in pearls, even if I spend 95% of my days in what can only kindly be called athleisure wear (read: really old sweatpants and layers of knit tops). So, without knowing anything else about this book I was interested. Second kryptonite shar Before I share my thoughts on The Collector’s Apprentice, B.A. Shapiro’s new art world novel, I need to fess up that this books contains two big pieces of literary kryptonite for me. One is kind of obvious—the cover. I love the era of well-dressed, elegant women in pearls, even if I spend 95% of my days in what can only kindly be called athleisure wear (read: really old sweatpants and layers of knit tops). So, without knowing anything else about this book I was interested. Second kryptonite shard? Fiction involving art. Why? I have no logical explanation. I don’t seek out museums, I can’t draw to save my life, but I love art fiction. Such as The Anatomy Lesson, Tsar of Love and Techno, The Improbability of Love, Tuesday Nights in 1980…the list goes on.Thankfully, the streak holds with The Collector’s Apprentice. The novel opens with 25-year-old Vivienne Gregsby on trial for the murder of her employer, a wealthy art collector. This, despite the fact that he was killed in an auto accident. She’s the beneficiary of his extensive art collection so his wife accuses her of paying someone to kill him. For Vivienne, this is yet another unfounded accusation made against her. Six years earlier, in Belgium, her fiancé turned out to be a con man who defrauded her family and most of their friends out of millions of dollars. She had escaped to the U.S. in the hopes of putting her past behind her, while still trying to redeem herself with her family.The rest of this review is at The Gilmore Guide to Books: https://gilmoreguidetobooks.com/2018/...
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