From the dawn of the twentieth century to the devastation of World War II, this exhilarating novel of love, war, art, and family gives voice to two extraordinary women and brings to life the true story behind the creation and near destruction of Gustav Klimt’s most remarkable paintings.
In the dazzling glitter of 1903 Vienna, Adele Bloch-Bauer—young, beautiful, brilliant, and Jewish—meets painter Gustav Klimt. Wealthy in everything but freedom, Adele embraces Klimt’s renegade genius as the two awaken to the erotic possibilities on the canvas and beyond. Though they enjoy a life where sex and art are just beginning to break through the façade of conventional society, the city is also exhibiting a disturbing increase in anti-Semitism, as political hatred foments in the shadows of Adele’s coffee house afternoons and cultural salons.
Nearly forty years later, Adele’s niece Maria Altmann is a newlywed when the Nazis invade Austria—and overnight, her beloved Vienna becomes a war zone. When her husband is arrested and her family is forced out of their home, Maria must summon the courage and resilience that is her aunt’s legacy if she is to survive and keep her family—and their history—alive.
Will Maria and her family escape the Nazis’ grip? And what will become of the paintings that her aunt nearly sacrificed everything for?
I know that I should not start at the end, but I loved it, it gave me a huge smile on my face, the ending was good very satisfactory.
This beautiful book is all about hope, love, courage, loss and diversity and about people that really lived and loved.
It is all about diversity, art , war and the fight for justice and what is right.
This book follows the lives of members of one family but seperated by time, meaning that the story rotates between time frames aand not in a time slip type of way.
I honestly cannot remember, how I came across this book, but I am so glad that I did, it was beautifully written and knowing that the events that happened were real made me connect with the people in it and the struggles in which they were living.
I have a very basic knowledge of art, but I do know that I love to watch about Art, and by that I mean, none of this modern crap, and have visited many a musuem, so when a book features art, I am interested.
I had not heard of the artist or the painting featured in this book, so not only did this entertain me, it made me learn too and that is the amazing quality of a book, I wanted to learn more.
As mentioned in the synopsis, this takes place pre first World War and during World War two, Adele Bloch-Bauer a young and adventerous Austrian woman of her time and Maria Altmann her niece some forty years later are the main focus of this book.
Adele meets and starts up a ‘relationship’ with the painter Gustav Klimpt, she is a lover of fine art work and lets herself be painted by him and so the stiry unfolds. Maria is living in Vienna when the Nazi army invade and her story starts there, even though they live in different times, both the woman struggle for themslves, family and ultimalty for the future generations of this Jewish family.
The German Army plundered many works of Art for themslves and to this day families have never got back what is rightfully theres.
On a side note and not knowing much of this painting and Artist, I did research Klimpt and found it an fascinating read click here if you wish to read futher on him. ( If you scroll down on the article, it shows the the painting that features in the book)
Tottally recommend this books, not just because it is a great story, but because it enlightens you on a base level.
There was a film made of this story, of which I have watched and Helem Mirren plays the lead role very well, but I do suggest that you read this first!
Click here to read more about it .
I listened to this on audio as well and it is fantastic.
I really hope to be able to see the painting face to face one day.
Thnak you for dropping by and let me know in the comments below if you have read this and what your thoughts were.
As always have a booktastic day and thank you for dropping by!