Author: B.A. Shapiro
Another novel set into World War II years 1940, The Muralist portrays a young artist named Alizee Benoit, and the search for her by her great niece, Danielle Abrams, also an artist. 70 years later, Danielle follows the lost trail of Alizee from Paris to the United States, and across Holocaust filled France again, she proves that her aunt Alizee was one of the contemporaries of the new art movement called Abstract Expressionism, a truly American school of art. Going back and forth, from Danielle in the present to Alizee in the past, Shapiro manages her thematics capably and well.
As Alizee worries incessantly about her family in occupied Hitler Germany, she uses her friends Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner to assist her in trying to stop Teddy Roosevelt’s Assistant Secretary of State from stopping Jews from entering the U.S. It seems Jews are not given the visas allocated for immigrants by the American government. When the S.S. St. Louis is turned away from the shores of Cuba and the US Alizee knows that her French family will die as they are on the ship. As Alizee intrigues Eleanor Roosevelt with her paintings, Eleanor buys some of her artwork and attempts to help Alizee get her family to the US, but without success.
Thrillingly written and a great read, both fictional and historical, I stumbled a tad upon the plot, which seemed a bit familiar in the WW II thematic. However, Shapiro manages to bring Danielle, and her famous fictional artist, Alizee Benoit, into our living room and our hearts as Alizee becomes the main conduit in the Abstract Expressionism movement and Danielle captures the lost life of her great aunt.
Review by Broad “A”
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own
The Muralist: A Novel is available for purchase on Amazon.com and your local bookseller.