Harriet Burden, known as Harry to her friends, has lived in the shadow of her wealthy art-dealer husband for many years, her own art ignored and pushed aside. When her husband dies, Harry decides to create her own masterpiece, Maskings. She shows three different pieces of her artwork using three different men who will pose as the artists. The plan is to reveal her deception, and to reveal the art world’s preference of male artists, once all three shows have taken place. But when the final artist, Rune, refuses to acknowledge that she was the artist behind “his” work, the art world doubts the veracity of her masterpiece and her claims.
The Blazing World is told from various points of view collected after Harry’s death. The story is told through Harry’s journal entries, industry articles, and interviews with her lover, children, and others. This doesn’t detract from the continuity of the story, but allows it to flow nicely while providing alternating points of view.
Harry’s frustrations and convictions are all-encompassing for her, overwhelming her both personally and professionally, and are clearly documented throughout the story. Unfortunately, while they were documented, often to the point of tedium, I never felt them. The book is intelligent to a fault. While I am not an uneducated person, I am also not an expert in philosophers or artists, nor do I want to have to be in order to enjoy a story. Harry’s in-depth knowledge of these fields, and the constant references to them, and the overwhelming footnotes, detracted from the story. A book full of knowledge, but without much heart.
Author: Siri Hustvedt
Publication: Simon & Schuster, March 2014
Wednesday WWW is hosted by Should Be Reading
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books. And who doesn’t love lists??
So this week’s challenge was to list the top ten books on our TBR list for this spring. I stuck to books that are being released this spring. What are you looking forward to reading this spring?
- The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – A novel about bookstores – how can I resist?! And it sounds like an interesting story, too.
- Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy – One last book from a master storyteller…
- One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern –Ahern’s books always have a unique perspective on life.
- The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt – The next book in my Indiespensables subscription which rarely disappoints!
- The Ninja Librarians by Jen Swann Downey – Sorry, I can’t help it! When I told my husband I wanted this book, he told me I already have too many books. My argument? None of them are about Ninja Librarians!
And a bunch of books in series that I read are coming out this spring!
- Field of Prey by John Sandford – I didn’t love his last book, but I have always liked the Lucas Davenport books in the past, so I’m giving him another chance!
- Robert B. Parker’s Cheap Shot by Ace Atkins – Ahh… the chance to hang with Spencer and Hawk again!
- By Its Cover by Donna Leone – I’m looking forward to the opportunity to travel the streets of Venice again with Commissario Guido Brunetti
- In the Morning I’ll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty – The last book in The Trouble Trilogy, it will be interesting to see where Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant police force in Northern Ireland in the early 1980s, will end up.
- The Hollow Girl by Reed Farrel Coleman – I am so excited to read this book, but so sad to see the end of the Moe Prager series, one of the best detective series ever written.