An Object of Beauty a novel by Steve Martin

Summary ~An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the NYC art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby’s and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights–and, at times, the dark lows–of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today.

 

OMG!  It seemed to take FOREVER to read this book.  :(  I really REALLY wanted to love it.  Art world, New York City, glamour, penned by one of my favorite actors/entertainers.  But alas no.  It took me weeks to read this book.  It seemed at times like two or three books in one!  Snazzy, intellectual women’s fiction (only because the main character, Lacey, is a twenty to thirty-something female who dares to play the art world, has men falling for her at every corner, sleeps with whomever she wants and plays the game of love like a man would), art history course book, and a tad bit of mystery. 

"Watson and the Shark", John Singleton Copley, 1778

 

Art could be considered one of the back bones of my childhood.  Sis and I were always encouraged to express ourselves creatively, be it through drawing, water-color painting, singing, acting, dancing or writing.  The most common family field trip was to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  When I am in the city I always try to visit the paintings and sculptures that wait in the gallery like old friends.  One of my all time favorites made an appearance in the pages of An Object of Beauty.  It’s the painting you see above, “Watson and the Shark”.  I know a thing or two about art and my sister has made her career in the world of art in Pittsburgh, (read an interview my lil’ sis did for Yinzperation.com) which is why I chose to buy the book in its original form instead of on the Kindle.  The publisher uses very nice, crisp white paper throughout as a perfect canvas for the art work printed along with the text.  The paintings referenced in the novel are reproduced on the pages of An Object of Beauty in lush, rich color with the approximate sizes and dates of the original piece.  The story itself kept my attention for a while but then fell off with extended explanations of art background and annoying turns in narrative.  Oh, and why couldn’t Lacey stay with my favorite of all her men?  Why? 
 
“Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, Dorothea Tanning, 1943

If you enjoyed Steve Martin’s novella Shop Girl as I did, you will find that An Object of Beauty has only one similarity: a young woman.  It may have been my distractions that kept me from thoroughly enjoying Martin’s latest work of fiction or it may have been the book itself.  Like any piece of art, this book may be something I have to revisit at a later time to see what I get from it versus what I didn’t get from it today.

 
{Rating ~ 3 out of 5}

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