The Swan Thieves, by Elizabeth Kostova

This is Kostova’s second novel after 2005’s The Historian, which debuted at #1 in the New York Times bestseller list. The theme of The Swan Thieves is the obsession of present-day, hugely talented painter, Robert Oliver with the Impressionist artist Beatrice de Clerval and in turn how Robert’s obsession affects psychiatrist Andrew Marlow, who is treating him. Chapters are narrated sequentially by Marlow, Kate (Robert’s ex-wife), Mary (Robert’s ex-girlfriend), along with chapters in the 19th century voices of artists Beatrice de Clerval and Olivier Vignot. Kostova never met an adjective that she didn’t like; I think a little more editing would have improved some of the repetitious descriptions. The characters and plot did prove interesting enough that I stuck with the 17 discs of the book on CD to the end.

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RATING: * * * A good read
Reviewed by: kh


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