Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Art #Mystery LOST CHILDREN by Willa Bergman

Today’s team review is from Robbie. She blogs here

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Robbie has been reading Lost Children by Willa Bergman

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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.

Desc 1

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.

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#NewRelease #FamilySaga #WomensFiction My #Bookreview of Connectedness by @SandraDanby

Connectedness (Identity Detective Book 2)Connectedness by Sandra Danby

4 stars

Connectedness can be placed within the wide-ranging genre known as ‘women’s fiction’ and features the effect that adoption has on all those involved. This book contains characters from Danby’s previous book Ignoring Gravity and although this can be read as a standalone, some readers might enjoy reading the books in sequence.

The story introduces us to Justine; she’s an artist. Her mother has recently died and Justine looks back at her life, questioning many of her decisions. Through a series of flashbacks, we are taken to 1982. Justine was studying art in Spain for a year. Knowing how hard her parents had worked to finance her trip, she refused to ask them for help when she ran out of money. Instead she struggled to survive as best she could.

Years later Justine has made a success of her life in the art world. At an exhibition she meets journalist Rose Haldane, who has been commissioned to write a piece about her.  They find they have a common bond and Justine asks Rose to help her find something precious she fears is lost.

I would describe this as a slow-burner read. It is full of beautifully rich descriptions which involve all the senses. I could see, hear and even taste many of the items that surrounded Justine. There were lots of intriguing layers too, as we were drip-fed details which lead to the denouement.

The research carried out by the author shone through with well-rounded characters and lovely touches of detail, rather like accessories which make an outfit or room feel polished. Recommended to those who appreciate a well-written story.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

Justine’s art sells around the world, but does anyone truly know her? When her mother dies, she returns to her childhood home in Yorkshire where she decides to confront her past. She asks journalist Rose Haldane to find the baby she gave away when she was an art student, but only when Rose starts to ask difficult questions does Justine truly understand what she must face.
Is Justine strong enough to admit the secrets and lies of her past? To speak aloud the deeds she has hidden for 27 years, the real inspiration for her work that sells for millions of pounds. Could the truth trash her artistic reputation? Does Justine care more about her daughter, or her art? And what will she do if her daughter hates her?
This tale of art, adoption, romance and loss moves between now and the Eighties, from London’s art world to the bleak isolated cliffs of East Yorkshire and the hot orange blossom streets of Málaga, Spain.
A family mystery for fans of Maggie O’Farrell, Lucinda Riley, Tracy Rees and Rachel Hore.

About the author

Sandra Danby is a proud Yorkshire woman, tennis nut and tea drinker. She believes a walk on the beach will cure most ills. Unlike Rose Haldane, the identity detective in her two novels, IGNORING GRAVITY and CONNECTEDNESS, Sandra is not adopted.
In the ‘Identity Detective’ series, Rose Haldane, journalist and identity detective, reunites the people lost through adoption. They are the stories you don’t see on television shows. The difficult cases. The people who cannot be found, who are thought lost forever.

Sandra Danby

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