Tuesday, May 3, 2016
A Fine Imitation
Description: Set in the glamorous 1920s, A Fine Imitation is an intoxicating debut that sweeps readers into a privileged Manhattan socialite’s restless life and the affair with a mysterious painter that upends her world, flashing back to her years at Vassar and the friendship that brought her to the brink of ruin.
Vera Bellington has beauty, pedigree, and a penthouse at The Angelus–the most coveted address on Park Avenue. But behind the sparkling social whirl, Vera is living a life of quiet desperation. Her days are an unbroken loop of empty, champagne-soaked socializing, while her nights are silent and cold, spent waiting alone in her cavernous apartment for a husband who seldom comes home.
Then Emil Hallan arrives at The Angelus to paint a mural above its glittering subterranean pool. The handsome French artist moves into the building, shrouds his work in secrecy, and piques Vera’s curiosity, especially when the painter keeps dodging questions about his past. Is he the man he claims to be? Even as she finds herself increasingly drawn to Hallan’s warmth and passion, Vera can’t suppress her suspicions. After all, she has plenty of secrets, too–and some of them involve art forgers like her bold, artistically talented former friend, Bea, who years ago, at Vassar, brought Vera to the brink of catastrophe and social exile.
When the dangerous mysteries of Emil’s past are revealed, Vera faces an impossible choice–whether to cling to her familiar world of privilege and propriety or to risk her future with the enigmatic man who has taken her heart. A Fine Imitation explores what happens when we realize that the life we’ve always led is not the life we want to have.
When done right I have an enjoyable time reading books from this time period. In the case of this book, it was done right. I instantly felt like I was transported back in time. I could see the clothes, imagine the conversation, and it was like I was in Vera's shoes and was experiencing everything as she was for the first time.
It was easy to see how she fell for Emil. Her life while full of money and glam was not a happy one from the inside. Her marriage to her husband was non existent. Then there is Vera's mother, who is a controlling Nazi. Whenever Vera was with Emil, it was like watching a butterfly emerge from their cocoon. Because I was so immersed in this book, it was a quick read. The ending was a great one.