The Swan Thieves, by Elizabeth Kostova, is the story of a famous painter, Robert Oliver, who attacks a painting in the National Gallery of Art and is put into a psychiatric ward. When Robert maintains a state of silence, his psychiatrist, Andrew Marlow, must investigate the artist’s world in order to treat him, which includes the women in Robert’s life.
If you are at all a lover of art and a study of the human psyche, this is a book for you. Elizabeth Kostova is one of those authors where you think to yourself, “Why can’t I write like this? How could I ever describe something as well as this?” I am not a reader who likes to scan books’ descriptions on the back or jacket flap. This book to me seemed so real, the people so lifelike, I actually looked up Robert Oliver’s name to see if he was a real person.
The 550 page long book scared me a bit, but I read through it without any problem. Perhaps if I were not a mom I would describe this as a “book that you cannot put down!”
This is Kostova’s second novel, the first being The Historian. Many who have read both have found this book to be too long and her debut novel to be the better of the two, but I have not read it. If people are saying her first book was better, then I definitely want to pick it up!
One caution you may want to be aware of is that the book does go into quite a bit of mental illnesses and behaviors. I have to admit that in the beginning, due to my background and life, it was difficult to read and I wondered if I could keep on reading it. So if you are one who may find such plots to be triggering, the book may not be for you.
I found The Swan Thieves to be an excellent read, something perfect when you are trapped indoors on these cold and snowy days.
Would you like to win this book that has never been read in the bathroom? Entering is easy!
1. Just leave a comment below and 2. Tweet out this post and let me know, in a SECOND entry. This gives you two chances to win! The contest will end at 11:59 p.m. EST on January 31st. A winner will be chosen by random.org. Good luck!
Congratulations to Tendai, whose entry, #6, was chosen by random.org! Thanks to all who entered!