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The Marriage Artist    by Andrew Winer order for
Marriage Artist
by Andrew Winer
Order:  USA  Can
Henry Holt, 2010 (2010)

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* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

This second novel of Andrew Winer is surely intriguing and very different from his first novel, The Color of Midnight. What happens to a Jewish man in Vienna just before and during World War II terribly affects the life of his son and grandson, and it takes an art critic who has lost his wife to suicide to piece together their story.

During the time when Jews were in danger only because they were Jews, their own family dynamics could have helped or hurt them even more. Author Winer has posited very real people who try to do the best for each other but who fail the very ones they love the most, and the error is compounded through several generations.

In addition to this psychological situation of characters trying to be what they are not, we learn much about what it means to be an artist and how an artist's critics, whether lay or professional, can affect and influence the artist.

Though Winer gives his characters all a compelling honesty, still they must struggle with their fates, and we the survivors are left with questions that will never really be answered. This is truly a powerful story and very well written.

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