Linda Lappinon Tour January 7-20 with
Loving Modigliani: The Afterlife Of Jeanne Hébuterne(literary fiction/historical fiction/fantasy) Release date: December 15, 2020 at Serving House Books 343 pages Goodreads
Exploring art and novels seems to go together, but this one goes a step further by exploring the afterlife of an artist. Everyone has heard of Modigliani, but how many know about his muse, an artist herself, Jeanne Hébuteme?
This novel explored a subject that I didn't know a lot about. I'd heard of Modigliani and recognized some of his iconic paintings, but I knew nothing about his tragic life or that of his common-law wife Jeanne Hébuteme, who died a few days after Modigliani when she threw herself from a window while nine-months pregnant. I barely these tragic figures in the novel before we were thrust into a bleak afterlife as Jeanne searched to be reunited with Modigliani, only to learn that he wasn't in the grayness of the dead in Paris, a place where the rich continued to look down on the poor, kicking them out of first class on ghost trains, and white men continued in their power, judging the lives of everyone in a ghost trial. I was super depressed thinking this world, not heaven, not hell, might be the fate of those who have died. Luckily, just before I threw the book aside in despair, we moved on to explore how the life and history of both Modigliani and Hébuteme continued, including artist notebooks and a long-missing painting.
I'm always intrigued by missing paintings from World War II, as evidenced by my book The Summer of France. Love a story that supposes what might have happened to the pilfered artwork.
In the end, this book definitely captured me, creating a world I couldn't have imagined for myself.