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AuthorB.A. Shapiro
Cover TypeSoft Copy
Date Published2012
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Posted Sep 01, 2015
Category: Fiction
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Lauren Acampora will be joining us in person at the Friars's Club to discuss THE WONDER GARDEN on September 21st!   From the author's website (www.laurenacampora.com):   "In her stunning debut The Won...
Synopsis

Discussion: Wednesday, October 14th at 8:00p.m.

 

From the author's website:


In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, two men dressed as police officers bound and gagged two guards at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, and stole thirteen works of art worth today over $500 million. Despite thousands of hours of police work and a $5 million reward, the artwork has never been recovered. Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there's more to this crime than meets the eye.

Comments
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  •  Judy_Mauer wrote 945 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    loved this book !
     
       
     
     
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  •  Fred wrote 940 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I am not an artist and was so impressed by your description of styles, techniques and and subtleties. Were you trained as an artist and if not how did you garner the knowledge you displayed?
     
       
     
     
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  •  Corey_Bearak wrote 940 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Why did you pick Degas as the artist?
     
       
     
     
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  •  Julie_Klein wrote 940 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Welcome Barbara! We are thrilled that you will be joining us on the 14th at 8:00 p.m.
    My first comment is an important one. I heard about your book from several librarians! They are still recommending The Art Forger to current book clubs - which I think is a testament to how terrific the book is. I also want to point out that you have a new book being released next month: THE MURALIST. I can't wait to read that next!
     
       
     
     
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  •  ShelleySimpson wrote 928 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I enjoyed the story and like others, I did learn a lot. What intrigued me was the end result for Claire. I didn't like her which says quite a bit about the author's ability to create a character suffiiently developed to evoke this reaction from me. But I do wonder what prompted the ending - why this treatment based on culpability. I'm trying not t give it away, but am intrigued by the ending.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Rona_Gura wrote 927 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I loved this book!! I thought the story was so compelling, I couldn't put it down. In addition, I learned a lot about a world that is a bit foreign to me. Although I have to admit, I have a reproduction of a Degas in my office. I had a different reaction to Claire than Shelley. I found her to be a very lost soul who was trying to find her own way. Without giving away the ending, when she found the right way, things changed for her.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Burton_Fendelman wrote 927 Days Ago (positive) 
     
    1
    Incredible impressed with your technical knowledge and explanation of the processes for the stripping and painting. What is your background to enable you to do that and do it so well?
    Any chance for a sequel with Clare working as a FBI agent?
     
       
     
     
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  •  John_Buscarello wrote 926 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Very interesting story and twist on the Gardner heist, as I was reading I was formatting other possibilities..given that in NY we have a major forgery trial going forward the theme is quite topical…but makes to you think about art in a different way…are we too focused on the value of the material object and not enough on the spirit? I'm looking forward to the discussion tonight.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Fred wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    If and when you sell the movie rights who do you envision playing Claire?
     
       
     
     
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  •  John_Buscarello wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Welome Barbara, we are happy to have you tonight - as you can see the book has already sparked a lot of comments….
     
       
     
     
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  •  Fred wrote 925 Days Ago (positive) 
     
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    Joanne writes: I really enjoyed reading your book about the art world. So much was right on point. Are you a visual artist as well?
     
       
     
     
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  •  Fred wrote 925 Days Ago (positive) 
     
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    Joanne writes: Shelley... why didn't you like Claire?
     
       
     
     
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  •  John_Buscarello wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I too enjoyed the focus on the art world - particularly the museum world vs. the world of galleries…
     
       
     
     
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  •  Fred wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Joanne writes: I was delighted that Claire got to use "the oven" for her own work... It is so exciting when an artist discovers a new technique.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Hi all. Will take the questions from latest to most recent
     
       
     
     
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  •  Jane_Beddall wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I am not very knowledgeable about fine art and thought that the explanation of the techniques that Claire used was just right: informative but not too much for a novice. And I especially liked that Claire was able to detect what she did with an unexplained sense that something was up and then a strong eye for detail, not a fancy technique available only to some.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I've have no training as an artist -- but I love art. Wanted to be an artist as a child but quickly found I had not talent. My stick figures don't even look like stick figures. So I became a writer who pretends to be an artist. It's very cool
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I learned about art by interviewing artists, hanging out in their studios and asking them endless questions. Also read lots of books and used the Internet, which is an author's best friend.
     
       
     
     
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  •  John_Buscarello wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I also found the whole basement level of the Gardner to be fascinating….I interned at the Guggenheim Museum in 1980 with the Archivist - Ward Jackson - he was quite an odd character and it surprised me how - shall I say - just how disorganize things were. Of course this was long before computers, but I can't imagine anyone knowing where everything was kept….also there was a clear division of those in the upper offices - Curators & Development - and the rest of the staff...
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I chose Degas because I needed an artist whose art was stolen during the Gardner heist and who was alive when Belle was. I also love his work
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I love librarians. Librarians and independent bookstore people are my idols. And yes, my new book, THE MURALIST, will be out November 3. It has similarities to THE ART FORGER: art, mystery and history, but takes place in NYC right before WWII. Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner and Mark Rothko are major characters who interact with my fictional ones.
     
       
     
     
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  •  John_Buscarello wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Wow - the new book sounds fascinating as well…will put it on my list.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Claire is a flawed character, as I think we all are. Whenever I start a book, I have a challenge and the challenge with TAF was to create a character readers could relate to that did "bad" things. I knew that some people wouldn't like her, but that others would and that was the challenge.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    We played around with the idea of a sequel, but ultimately rejected it. I think Claire went through enough and just could't put her through anything else. I am, though, writing a trilogy of art books. The nest THE MURALIST, out 11/3, is about the Abstract Expressionists and my next -- working title, THE COLLECTOR'S ASSISTANT, is about post-Impressionists and early modern artists.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Jane_Beddall wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Do you particularly enjoy writing about a combination of real and fictional characters? Do you go about it any differently, compared to straight fiction on straight nonfictional people?
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Are we too focused on the value of art? Excellent question and one of the themes of the book. What gives something value? Isaac's work -- painted by Claire -- had value until it wasn't painted by him. Is it any less beautiful? In this world where we "value" the Kardasians, I think this is an interesting question
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I'd love to see Claire Danes -- but my husband wants Scarlett Johensen
     
       
     
     
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  •  John_Buscarello wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Claire seemed very lost, but Isaac was deeply lost -- his suicide is very interesting as he is clearly blocked and something is up with him, his claim to have painted 4D might have been his last hurrah - a last ditch attempt to save his soul…but it's a false gesture and obviously doesn't help.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    The reader response to Claire's oven has been a complete surprise to me. It was obvious to me after learning how how van Meergeren used toaster ovens to bake his art that she needed a really big oven. It seemed a minor details, but readers have been fascinated by it. It makes it obvious that a novel is a conversation between the author and the reader, not just the author putting the words together
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    What ele can I tell you?
     
       
     
     
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  •  John_Buscarello wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    i think Claire Danes is the perfect choice!
     
       
     
     
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  •  Jane_Beddall wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Have you heard any reaction from the Gardner museum?
     
       
     
     
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  •  John_Buscarello wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I think most people don't focus on how a great forgery is made, so the oven detail is quite fascinating…I loved learning about the process.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Julie_Klein wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I was not surprised by Issac's suicide. How could he live with himself - as a fraud; how could he turn himself in? One of the reasons that I liked Claire and this book - is because she was flawed. She seemed real to me. I also listened to this book - on audio - and it was easy to follow. Some books don't lend themselves to an audio presentation. This one did!
     
       
     
     
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  •  Julie_Klein wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Who are your favorite authors/books?
     
       
     
     
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  •  Julie_Klein wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    What is inspiring you to write a trilogy?
     
       
     
     
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  •  Fred wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Joanne writes: I loved that Claire got to use the oven for her own work!
     
       
     
     
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  •  Julie_Klein wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I did not trust Aiden at all and was very suspicious of him throughout the novel.
     
       
     
     
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  •  John_Buscarello wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    @Jane - that is an interesting question, I too wonder what the Gardner thinks?
     
       
     
     
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  •  Julie_Klein wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I loved the scenes between Isabella Gardner and Degas. The letters to Amelia nicely evoked the time period and the interaction between the two.
     
       
     
     
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  •  John_Buscarello wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    @Julie I did too, very evocative - put Gardner in a different more human light.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    The Gardner was originally very against the book. They said we were trying to take advantage of their tragedy, which I get. But after lots of people started coming to the museum because they had read the book, they changed their minds, sold the book in their store and invited me to events
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Thanks about the letters. I had such a great time writing them. I got to be Belle
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I had so much fun writing about art that I wanted to do it again. I received a three book contract from Algonquin -- the best publisher ever -- and decided that that was what I would do. Having even more fun than I thought
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    You weren't supposed to trust Aiden -- and you were supposed to cringe when Claire did.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    It's so hard to specify favorite books or authors, as I have so many. But a few books are Middlesex, The Secret History, The Poisonwood Bible, Anna Karenina and so many others
     
       
     
     
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  •  Julie_Klein wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    That's great. It must be a different process when thinking about a three book story. Or maybe not? You simply take one at a time?
     
       
     
     
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  •  Barbara wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I guess we're out of time, but this was really fun. So glad you liked the book, thought so deeply about it, wanted to share. It makes my day. Hope you'll all check out THE MURALIST and maybe we can do this again. Thanks to everyone, especially Julie.
     
       
     
     
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  •  John_Buscarello wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Thank you Barbara!
     
       
     
     
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  •  Julie_Klein wrote 925 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Thank you Barbara! We appreciate your time and thoughtful responses! Good luck with The Muralist. We will definitely pick it up -
     
       
     
     
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