Centerpieces by Penelope Przekop:
Review and Giveaway
When I first decided to read this book, I did so based upon the fact that it had an interesting premise, a unique story to tell. That is one of the main criteria I use for picking many of the books I decide to read. It has to engage me in some way. Since I love art and history, I thought it was intriguing that the author chose to interweave the life of van Gogh with those of modern characters, namely Ellis and Tom Spencer, Holly Carter, who all work for a pharmaceutical company, and the mysterious Mimi, who owns a bizarre bookstore and thinks she's a vampire. So now we have an interesting premise, a mix of time, art and history, and some quirky characters. So far so good.
As I delved further into the story of these characters and how they connect with van Gogh, I couldn't help but to think, on many occasions, that this was the type of book Oprah would have loved to pick for her book club. I've read some of Oprah's picks and she has an affinity for the literary, the unusual, and the complex stories of complex people. Although this is a slim book, a mere 175 pages, it is filled to brimming with all the above. At times, I found myself wondering if I could finish this book (the same reaction I had with the Oprah picks, which is why I thought she'd love this book) because I sometimes couldn't make sense of what was going on. But I kept on reading because I wanted to discover how all of these characters tied into the story of van Gogh and his sad life and death. I'm glad I did because, in the end, it was a satisfying book that left no loose ends and delivered on its promise to the reader.
Miss Przekop is a skilled writer who knows her way around a piece of art, a complicated history and intriguing characters. Yes, she might have had me wondering if I would ever understand what was going on, at times, but that is the beauty of the story. It might confuse you at one point, but it delivers a satisfying conclusion at another. There are twists and plot devices that I wasn't expecting, but they only enhanced the story. All in all, a very satisfying read So if you like reading about the art world with a twist of the supernatural, you will enjoy this book.
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(Review copy provided by author)