BOOK ALERT (07/08/2012)

FUGITIVE COLORS by Lisa Barr focuses on artists who suffered under the hands of the Nazis.
Betsy Sheer, a blog reader recommended this book and I immediately asked her to write a review. Happily (for me) she obliged...

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Betsy Sheer is the owner of Sheer Communications. She is a philanthropist, a teacher and  holds leadership positions with political and non-profit organizations...and she reads my blog!

FUGITIVE COLORS by Lisa Barr reviewed by Betsy Sheer

Art, passion, betrayal, conciliation: these are the themes of journalist Lisa Barr’s debut novel, set in the art world of Europe in the 1930’s. It is a gripping story, well-paced and evocative of a time and a place that celebrated and tested the limits of art, friendship and conscience.

The opening section of Fugitive Colors echoes the premise of The Wedding Singer: Budding artist flees his constrictive Orthodox environment to seek the freedom he needs to breathe, to paint and to find his true colors. With the increasingly loud, methodical stomps of Hitler’s footsteps and a slowly-descending curtain of impending doom as back-drop, Barr writes of a circle of idealistic young artists in Paris whose lives and choices impact each other and the future of the art world.

The history feels credible, giving life to Hitler’s determination to stamp out “degenerate” artists and to the small, secret efforts to save the art if not the artists. The protagonist is sympathetic: we care what happens to Julian Klein. We feel for his friends and their complicated family relationships. Our hopes are raised and dashed as the story unwinds.

Fugitive colors are not lightfast or permanent. This reader feels that the rawness of this story and the emotions it evokes will not fade over time so fast. I very much recommend this book. 
Betsy S.
Chilmark, Ma

Author, Lisa Barr has been a journalist for twenty years. Most recently she served as staff reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Her work ranges from covering terroism and politics to celebrities and lifestyle. She resides in a suburb of Chicago with her family. 



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