Woman on Fire by Lisa Barr
Paperback, 416 pages
Publication: March 1st 2022 by Harper Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery Thriller
Taken from Goodreads: From the author of the award-winning Fugitive Colors and The Unbreakables, a gripping tale of a young, ambitious journalist embroiled in an international art art scandal centered around a Nazi-looted masterpiece--forcing the ultimate showdown between passion and possession, lovers and liars, history and truth.
After talking her way into a job with Dan Mansfield, the leading investigative reporter in Chicago, rising young journalist Jules Roth is given an unusual--and very secret--assignment. Dan needs her to locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: legendary Expressionist artist Ernst Engel's most famous work, Woman on Fire. World-renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum wants this portrait of a beautiful, mysterious woman for deeply personal reasons, and has enlisted Dan's help to find it. But Jules doesn't have much time; the famous designer is dying.
Meanwhile, in Europe, provocative and powerful Margaux de Laurent also searches for the painting. Heir to her art collector family's millions, Margaux is a cunning gallerist who gets everything she wants. The only thing standing in her way is Jules. Yet the passionate and determined Jules has unexpected resources of her own, including Adam Baum, Ellis's grandson. A recovering addict and brilliant artist in his own right, Adam was once in Margaux's clutches. He knows how ruthless she is, and he'll do anything to help Jules locate the painting before Margaux gets to it first.
A thrilling tale of secrets, love, and sacrifice that illuminates the destructive cruelty of war and greed and the triumphant power of beauty and love, Woman on Fire tells the story of a remarkable woman and an exquisite work of art that burns bright, moving through hands, hearts, and history.
My Thoughts: This book… I just do not know what all to say about this book. It is phenomenal. Positively one of my favorites so far this year. I had not read Lisa Barr before, but I will be reading more from her. Woman on Fire is a historical fiction set in WWII, my favorite historical era, and a thriller.
As I learned more and more about the art that was taken by the Germans during WWII I knew that this book had so much to teach me. It intrigued me that although Hitler said the art was to be destroyed, some of his men realized the value of the art and took it to keep it from being destroyed. The paper trail to make the taking legal was incredible. I knew that much was lost during WWII but I had not considered the amount of art that was lost.
I love how the history was woven into the thriller part of the story. There was no divide between the two genres, and they were woven together perfectly. It was interesting to me to see how Jules would put clues together to find the missing painting while keeping herself and those around her safe from Margaux de Laurent. I was intrigued from the very beginning as to how this story would play out and I knew there would be lives lost, friendships gained, and mysteries solved.
I finished this book a few days ago and have not stopped thinking about it. I highly recommend picking up your own copy.
**Thank you Ann-Marie at GetRed PR for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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Meet Lisa Barr: (Taken from her website) Lisa Barr is the award-winning author of WOMAN ON FIRE, THE UNBREAKABLES (Harper Perennial/HarperCollins), and the historical thriller FUGITIVE COLORS, which won the IPPY gold medal for “Best Literary Fiction 2014” and first prize at The Hollywood Film Festival (Opus Magnum Discovery Award).
Lisa also served as the editor and creator of the popular parenting blog GIRLilla Warfare: A Mom’s Guide to Surviving the Suburban Jungle. Her article entitled “Being Left Out Hurts: Moms, Stop ‘Social Engineering’” went viral, viewed and shared by nearly five million readers nationwide. She has been featured on Today, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, and Australia TV for her work as an author, journalist, and blogger.
Earning her master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Lisa went on to serve as an editor/reporter for The Jerusalem Post, managing editor of Today’s Chicago Woman, managing editor of Moment magazine, and as an editor/reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, for which she launched the newspaper’s first women’s section called “Lifestyles”.
Among the highlights of her career, Lisa covered the famous “handshake” between the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and President Bill Clinton at the White House in 1993.
She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and their three daughters (aka: Drama Central).