Nancy McKibben's Reviews > A Nearly Perfect Copy

A Nearly Perfect Copy by Allison Amend
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Recommended for: readers of literary fiction, interested in the art world

A Nearly Perfect Copy
By Allison Amend

This story takes place in the art world in two different lives: one, a woman with a coveted “good eye” for art, who works at a Manhattan auction house, and the other a frustrated Spanish painter in Paris with a talent for copying.

I had to think twice about reading this book, as the woman is a mother grieving the loss of her eight-year-old son, swept away by the tsunami when the family was vacationing in Thailand. I have six children and sometimes these books hit too close to the bone. But Elm, short for Elmira, managed to engage my sympathy.
She’d never known how many different kinds of tears there were until Ronan died. Like a parody of the old saw about all the Eskimo words for snow - tears of frustration, of hurt, pain, anger, angst. And now there were new tears to discover all the time, vast galaxies of hidden stars and satellites of pain that orbited into view.
The painter, Gabriel, feels a different sort of pain. He feels disconnected from his own voice as a painter, although he can channel the painting style of his famous painter grandfather at will. And he is the eternal outsider, a Spaniard in France, who often finds it difficult to express himself in French. When the beautiful Collette, also in the art world, becomes his lover, he knows at once that she is out of his league financially, but he is desperate to keep her.

Gabriel’s and Elm’s different losses lead them down different, but eventually intersecting paths, which is the most I can say without spoiling the plot.

Elmira ultimately makes a decision that is crazy and ruinous - or is it? The reader will have to decide for herself, in this thought-provoking and well-written novel.


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Reading Progress

June 18, 2013 – Started Reading
June 19, 2013 – Finished Reading
June 27, 2013 – Shelved
June 27, 2013 – Shelved as: reviewed

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