I must confess I’d put aside The Artist’s Secret by Alexandra Joel because it’s classified as historical fiction – which isn’t a fave of mine. It was only when re-reading the blurb I realised the ‘historical’ elements here took place in the mid-late 60s, with a few visits into the 70s before moving to the 80s. So not the war stuff I usually avoid, rather… the span of my life. Which – ahem – has barely started. 🙄
And I enjoyed this more than I expected, dipping into the art world, particularly that of the Renaissance period and the world of auction houses and wealthy collectors. Our lead character Wren is complex and likeable who (here) unfortunately comes across some very caustic colleagues (is it an art-world thing I wondered?) but who’s determinedly dug her way out of a challenging childhood to pursue her dreams.