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Virginia Duigan specializes in novels written in the minor key, complete with lush details, remote settings, and mysterious human hearts. Thankfully, she strings the listener along with plot twists. Performer Nihill does a serviceable job, though non-Aussie accents are not her specialty.
Twenty-five years later, Tony, a young art critic who is researching a biography of Mischa, arrives in the small Italian hilltop community where Greer and Mischa now live. Greer is consumed by anxiety, fearing the biographer may have unearthed the secret she had always intended to write out of her life story.
A gripping cat-and-mouse game plays out, and with it the growing suspicion that Tony may be manipulating a dramatic outcome on which to build his career. Beautifully narrated, Virginia Duigan's intimate and enthralling portrait of the relationship between an artist and his lover will have listeners examining how their own biographies might be written, for who amongst us truly has nothing to hide?
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By Kath of Oz on 05-20-14
The lives of the obsessed
Virginia Duigan's lovely prose and vivid expression carried me through the lives of this small group of old school creatives for whom art means obsession and self-focus and love means all or nothing. Her scheming characters left me feeling little joy, but I was drawn into their world by Duigan's skilful handling of the story as it unfolds. The central theme - of the biographer as both an observer and alchemist in the lives of those he or she portrays --is a fascinating one. The end was a satisfying one, but I wanted to like these troubled, intense group of artists much more than I did.