The Painting On Auerperg's Wall
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
"The Lost Girls of Devon" by Barbara O'Neal
From the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids comes a story of four generations of women grappling with family betrayals and long-buried secrets. | Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
- Paperback : 250 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1771334894
- ISBN-13 : 978-1771334891
- Item Weight : 9.9 ounces
- Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.75 x 8.25 inches
- Publisher : Inanna Publications (May 15, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,827,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Their stories germinate, thrive and swell around a common thread: mistrust, uncertainties and suspicions surrounding the sale of an oil painting in Vienna in 1939. The painting in question is Liebermann’s autumn landscape under a cloudy sky titled “Herbstwald”. In that year Samuel Wassermand purchased Herbstwald from Lieberman himself, and hung it in his study in Vienna.
Shortly after, however, as the Wasserman family is arrested and deported by the Gestapo, the painting is acquired by Wasserman’s friend and neighbour, Auerperg. Was it or was it not bought and sold? Was its change of ownership morally defensible and patently legal?
This is the question that privately haunts the surviving members of both the Wasserman and the Auerperg families in the first decade of the 21st century. Due to accident and history, the sharing of death, displacement and trauma, and links of family friendship, loyalty and indebtedness, ownership is a matter that cannot easily be openly discussed. Any attempt at resolution is made all the more difficult as the protagonists now live variously in California, Hungary and Vienna, scattered by the intervening seven decades.
It takes an outsider to even begin to cut through the dense undergrowth that has been allowed to grow up, for so long, around this matter. David, an art historian and accidental neighbour in California to Nancy, on whose apartment wall in Vienna the Libermann now hangs, acts as the unwitting and unintentional catalyst. Such a fraught and disturbing task cannot, however, be resolved by a single person the untying of a complicated knot. Although The novel is chalk-full of surprises and unexpected revelations, far richer and more substantial than a Sherlock Holmes thriller though it shares many of that genre’s best qualities.
With great confidence, Erika Rummel captures beautifully the multi-layered existence of a handful of Europeans whose lives have been disrupted by Nazism, Communism, war, failed love, and migration. She skillfully juxtaposes the deep cultural heritage of Europe with modern day California and how the displaced have learned to cope both intellectually and professionally.
The story is as stratified and nuanced as a Mozart quintet. Part of its very considerable charm lies in leading the reader to question how the world appears to be and how the world is -- perhaps. By this means, Erika Rummel leads us to question the elements of life that we value most and makes us aware that not easily understood, grasped, and indeed may never be made entirely plain.
Five protagonists, separately, provide overlapping portions of the central story. However, as testimony to the author’s consummate story-telling skill that I read exactly half-way through the novel before appreciating that there are five and not four principals present.
Erika Rummel’s character reveals are as surprising and illuminative as are her insights into life and the human condition. Her skill, in part, relies on her great capacity for deep thought and for presenting these as flashes of insight whose truth we recognise that turn this enigmatic novel into an intellectual refreshment.
The Painting on Auerperg’s Wall is a very fine piece of writing.