I started reading one of those books, a novel written by an author with whom I was not familiar... "The Muse" by British writer Jessie Burton.
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The novel's plot alternates between two settings... London in the 1960s and Spain in the 1930s just before the Spanish Civil War. A mysterious painting has been brought to a London art gallery. It appears to be a long-lost masterpiece by (fictitious) painter Isaac Robles, who disappeared during the war.
I took the book with me on my weekend trip to Chicago, and I finished it before I returned home. It is quite an intriguing tale which I enjoyed.
I was left without anything to read on my flight home. I had time to kill at O'Hare Airport, so I went into a bookstore there. I came upon a recent novel by one of my favorite authors, Chilean writer Isabel Allende. It is called "In the Midst of Winter".
(Image taken from the web)
"A blizzard in New York City brings together three strikingly different people, each burdened with a difficult past. Lucía, an aging Chilean writer who has survived political exile, disease, and betrayal, is marooned with her dog in a basement apartment in Brooklyn. Richard, chairman at NYU of an academic department, is a broken man haunted by guilt for his failures as a husband and father. And Evelyn, a young Guatemalan woman, is an undocumented home health aide who fled her native country due to gang violence. Over the course of several days, these three - each a misfit in a different way - are forced by circumstances into a rare level of intimacy. As the result of a shocking crime, they embark on a journey that will enable them to forge a tentative peace with the demons of their pasts."
I would love to make this book required reading for any smug, comfortable "gringos" who demonize Latin Americans attempting to escape the horrors of their homelands and find haven in the United States. It is an engrossing novel. I am already more than half way through the book. I guess I will have to start another book from my stack before I embark on my next trip.