A Nearly Perfect Copy

Allison Amend, Author
Allison Amend. Doubleday/Talese, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-53669-1
Paperback - 284 pages - 978-0-345-80314-6
Hardcover - 547 pages - 978-1-4104-5949-7
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-45058-5
Open Ebook - 219 pages - 978-0-385-53670-7
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In Amend’s clever, wry second novel (after Stations West) American art expert Elm Howells enjoys her work at Tinsley’s, the auction house her great-grandfather founded, but the recent loss of her young son has become an obsession she can’t shake. When she learns at a party that the hosts plan to clone their dead dog in Europe, Elm sets off on an unlikely path to get her precious son back—literally. Meanwhile, Spanish painter Gabriel Connois, the great-grandson of renowned painter Marcel Connois of the mid-19th-century group Les Hiverains, finds himself, after two decades in France, still a cultural and art world outsider. But at a friend’s show, he meets Colette, who works in the French branch of Tinsley’s, and she introduces him to her wealthy uncle, Augustus Klinman, who commissions Gabriel to do a slew of drawings in the style of Les Hiverains. Decorating luxury hotels not only gives Gabriel a lot of money, it leads to a solo show. Colette connects Elm with Klinman, who is attempting to pass off Gabriel’s work as authentic Les Hiverains. She smells a rat, but cloning isn’t cheap and she enters into a complicated moral dilemma. Amend makes her characters immediately real, depicting their complicated desires and decisions in a highly enjoyable, nearly perfect novel. Agent: Terra Chalberg, Chalberg & Sussman. (Apr.)
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