Today’s team review is from Robbie. She blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/
Robbie has been reading Lost Children by Willa Bergman
This book is quite an interesting tale about a young woman, Eloise Witcham who works for an international firm that specialises in auctioning famous artworks. Eloise, or Elle, works in the smaller branch of private sales which is not doing particularly well under its current leadership. There is anxiety among the employees as they are concerned about retrenchments. Elle is the only one who is meeting her sales targets and she has also managed to build the start of a reputation as an investigator into missing artworks on behalf of selected private clients. Among her peers, Elle is the odd person out as she does not come from a well-off background and has to stand on her own two feet financially while caring for her mother who has dementia and her brother who is not able to hold down a job.
Elle is engaged by the representative of a trust to look for an artwork called the Lost Child which went missing fifteen years previously. Elle takes the commission for her own reasons and runs into a lot of problems while searching for this piece. All sorts of secrets and surprises come to the fore during her investigation which takes her from London to New York.
The storyline of this book was interesting, and I do enjoy novels that centre around artworks, especially stolen artworks. The telling of the story was not as good for me as the plot. The writing was quite flat in many parts and some of the behaviour’s demonstrated by Elle felt a bit unrealistic and unconvincing. Her character is portrayed as being someone who has secrets in her past and terrors as a result, so her erratic behaviour could potentially be attributed to mental instability due to her past circumstances and current stress. The behaviour of her competitor, Geoffrey Webb, also seemed a bit extreme, but art works are worth a lot of money so that could explain it. It just didn’t work that well for me and left me questioning certain aspects of the story.
I did enjoy the office politics and intrigue relating to the world of art auctions and sales and appreciated the insecurity and competitiveness among employees in this field. Readers can form their own opinion about whether desperation to earn commissions and a fear of dismissal would be grounds for corporate espionage and even murder in this world.
A celebrated painting, the Portrait of the Lost Child, has been missing for over a decade. Eloise Witcham is commissioned to find it, but if she does she will have to confront a past she thought long behind her and face up to the dark fears that still haunt her dreams.
A stylish, intelligent, contemporary thriller set in the secretive world of high end art.