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What Caroline Knew

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Synopses & Reviews

Review:

"Cultural critic for the New York Times, James hangs her inert second novel (after Glorie) on an erotic painting and its repercussions for the reputations of both subject and artist. Caroline Stephens is a beautiful blue blood in Jazz Age New York who becomes a patron of young artists to allay the boredom of her respectable but sleepy marriage and the stuffiness of her old-moneyed social world. Sensuality and propriety, bohemia and convention war within her — but respectability ultimately rules. She promotes a handsome painter, Nick Leone, and is incensed at his betrayal when he reveals a 'pornographic' nude of her at his opening exhibition in 1927. A scandal erupts; she insists she never posed for the painting; and she and her family set out to ruin Nick. James frames the story from the viewpoint of Caroline's great-nephew, Philip, at the time of the painting's 2002 exhibition at the Met, but the bulk of the novel consists of Caroline's first-person story as told to Philip. This structure — and several slowly doled out revelations about the real circumstances of Nick and Caroline's relationship — makes for little narrative tension. Add Caroline's implausible callousness as things get worse for Nick, and the result is a muddled read." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312343125
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
James, Caryn
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
Man-woman relationships
Subject:
Scandals.
Subject:
General Fiction
Publication Date:
20060307
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.52x5.90x.86 in. .82 lbs.

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What Caroline Knew New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$25.50 In Stock
Product details 240 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9780312343125 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Cultural critic for the New York Times, James hangs her inert second novel (after Glorie) on an erotic painting and its repercussions for the reputations of both subject and artist. Caroline Stephens is a beautiful blue blood in Jazz Age New York who becomes a patron of young artists to allay the boredom of her respectable but sleepy marriage and the stuffiness of her old-moneyed social world. Sensuality and propriety, bohemia and convention war within her — but respectability ultimately rules. She promotes a handsome painter, Nick Leone, and is incensed at his betrayal when he reveals a 'pornographic' nude of her at his opening exhibition in 1927. A scandal erupts; she insists she never posed for the painting; and she and her family set out to ruin Nick. James frames the story from the viewpoint of Caroline's great-nephew, Philip, at the time of the painting's 2002 exhibition at the Met, but the bulk of the novel consists of Caroline's first-person story as told to Philip. This structure — and several slowly doled out revelations about the real circumstances of Nick and Caroline's relationship — makes for little narrative tension. Add Caroline's implausible callousness as things get worse for Nick, and the result is a muddled read." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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