Monday, December 9, 2013

Review: Alena

Alena by Rachel Pastan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finding your place in the art world can be a series of missteps, but to follow in the footsteps of a ghost can be a life-altering experience. The main character in Alena does just that--while working for a curator of a Midwestern museum, she meets Bernard Augustin at the Biennale in Venice. After seeing her eye for art, he quickly hires her to be the curator at his museum, the Nauk, on the Cape. The drawback, however, is that is has been closed since the disappearance of his last curator and friend, Alena. Everyone assumes that she has drowned, but the spirit and life that she led is clearly palpable to the main character throughout her time serving at the Nauk.

This book is an amazing look at how an unexpected death can leave traces of life throughout the people and places that the deceased have touched. It is also an interesting look at death and how art and death are related. This book is touted as a restaging of Rebecca, but not having read Rebecca I cannot say whether the effort has succeeded or not. Though any reader looking for a solid story and a buried mystery will enjoy this book.

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