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If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend by Alison Pace

I've been hearing about this book for what seems like awhile now. I'd never run across it until Ari from Emily and Her Little Pink Notes started talking it up as a diamond in the rough. She has such similar taste to my own that I rather suspected at that point I would someday be seeking this one out. Then Lit Snit featured it on their BBAW Unexpected Treasure post and those suspicions turned into beliefs. Finally I broke down and searched my library's catalog. They had it in! So I grabbed it on my way to work that day and settled into bed with it that night. I went in expecting chick lit with a splash of art history thrown in for good measure and I read it in one sitting that night.

Jane Laine works for the most notorious art gallery owner in Manhattan. Possibly in the whole of the art world. She remembers a time when she loved and understood art and why it pushed her into pursuing a degree and a career in the field. But almost every ounce of joy in what she does has been systematically sucked out of her by her rapacious and reptilian boss. Coming off the heels of a particularly devastating break-up, she flubs up a particularly delicate situation at work and is sure she'll be fired without a by your leave. Instead, she is sent on a unique sort of venture with Dick Reese's primo client--the current darling of the art world--Ian Rhys-Fitzsimmons. Jane is to accompany Ian on a five-month-long international art tour and see to his every need. Mystified but counting her blessings, she sets out wondering how she'll manage to spend five months with a man she does not like and whose art she does not understand. Fortunately, fate has a few surprises in store for her and the trip does not go the way she thought it would. On so many levels.

Ari was right. This is smart and fun and not exactly what you'd expect from the title or the cover. I think what I enjoyed most was Jane's observations on her travels and the effect being in those countries had on her. The way Rome changed her perspective was particularly moving to me as I have lived in Italy several times and love it with a deep and unfathomable sort of love. I was so jealous she was there and I was not! And like Ian tells Jane in that perfect quote from Wuthering Heights:
I could fancy a love for life here almost possible.

That's it. That's tears-in-my-eyes it! How Italy makes me feel. How wonderful to encounter just the right sentiment in this light and lovely book about an art gallery manager in search of something or some place or someone to remind her why life is worth living. We all need those reminders every so often and Jane had gone for quite long enough without some spark in her life. It was fun watching her fumble around and find it again. If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend is the kind of book I could hand anyone, without worrying at all. It's a sweet, fast read and it leaves you feeling good about life and love and the human capacity to both create and appreciate beauty. I laughed several times and smiled more. If you're looking for a warm and thoughtful way to spend an evening, Alison Pace's debut novel is an excellent way to go.


Linkage
Chick Lit Books
Dear Author Review
Emily and Her Little Pink Notes Review
The Velvet Sea Review

Comments

  1. Oh sounds like a great read! Thanks

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  2. "You are my moors, you are my Rome" might be the most romantic line ever. Still makes me slightly teary, I'm embarrassed to admit.

    I'm so glad you liked it. I'm still thanking Emily for recommending it!

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  3. Anonymous10:29 AM

    I'm glad you liked it!

    KarenS

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  4. Wow, now I really can't wait to read this! I could use a little art and travel around Europe myself. :)

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  5. It does really sound good...really good...sort of like the Anna Wintertour book about fashion...

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  6. This one has been in my wishlist ever since Ari started recommending it. Forgot to ask about it when I went to the bookstore yesterday but I'll ask again when I go back! I'm always up for fun and light reads like this.

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  7. This sounds absolutely fun! My first love in books is chick lit, but it's been a while since I found really good ones. This seems like one I'd really enjoy too. :)

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  8. Angie I am so glad you liked it, I personally love that Andy Warhol's quote, the one that says that we should fall in love with our eyes closed which I couldn't agree more

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  9. I remember Emily mentioning this book and it has been on my wishlist ever since!

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  10. Maggie9:56 PM

    so glad you reviewed this. it is the book that introduced me to andy warhol and his fantastic quotes and art. i loved it and will have to reread

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  11. Cari, you bet. I thought it was very cute.

    Alison, yeah, it's worth it when you're in the mood for something sweet.

    Erin, lol. There are just several great lines in this one.

    Karen, I definitely did. Good read for a good time.

    Holly, have you started it yet? You got several good ones at once, I know.

    Patty, *grin*. I haven't read that one.

    Chachic, I'm glad I looked it up based on Ari's rec. I wouldn't have otherwise, I'm sure.

    Tina, ooh, since it's your first love do you have any great ones to recommend?

    Ari, it's a great quote. I liked all of them, but especially the very last one! :)

    Iris, yeah, it's a good 'un.

    Carla, hehe. Excellent.

    Maggie, how wonderful. I have a husband who's a Warhol admirer so found out lots about him through him. And the Velvet Underground, of course. :)

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