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Woman on Fire: A Novel Paperback – March 1, 2022
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A New York Times Bestseller
Now with Sharon Stone signed on to produce and star in the movie
From the author of the award-winning Fugitive Colors and The Unbreakables, a gripping tale of a young, ambitious journalist embroiled in an international art scandal centered around a Nazi-looted masterpiece—forcing the ultimate showdown between passion and possession, lovers and liars, history and truth.
After talking her way into a job with Dan Mansfield, the leading investigative reporter in Chicago, rising young journalist Jules Roth is given an unusual—and very secret—assignment. Dan needs her to locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: legendary Expressionist artist Ernst Engel’s most famous work, Woman on Fire. World-renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum wants this portrait of a beautiful, mysterious woman for deeply personal reasons, and has enlisted Dan’s help to find it. But Jules doesn’t have much time; the famous designer is dying.
Meanwhile, in Europe, provocative and powerful Margaux de Laurent also searches for the painting. Heir to her art collector family’s millions, Margaux is a cunning gallerist who gets everything she wants. The only thing standing in her way is Jules. Yet the passionate and determined Jules has unexpected resources of her own, including Adam Baum, Ellis’s grandson. A recovering addict and brilliant artist in his own right, Adam was once in Margaux’s clutches. He knows how ruthless she is, and he’ll do anything to help Jules locate the painting before Margaux gets to it first.
A thrilling tale of secrets, love, and sacrifice that illuminates the destructive cruelty of war and greed and the triumphant power of beauty and love, Woman on Fire tells the story of a remarkable woman and an exquisite work of art that burns bright, moving through hands, hearts, and history.
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From the Publisher
"Barr’s vigorous prose complements her fully realized characters. Readers will be gripped from start to finish." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Woman on Fire is a sharp, propulsive page-turner that will keep readers in suspense." — Booklist
"An exuberant and propulsive thriller laced with sex, art, and history. Lisa Barr has created an unforgettable story that forces readers to question where the line should be drawn between the pursuit of justice and the hunt for revenge." — Alyson Richman, bestselling author of The Secret of Clouds
"Woman on Fire is an exquisite, fascinating read that hooks you with its intensity and captures your heart with emotional depth. A brilliant, seamless tale of art, atrocity, love, family, and courage, this stunning novel, both with the words and the paintings described on the pages, comes alive so vividly it's as if you are right there, seeing every remarkable moment with your own eyes. A truly astonishing novel that builds tension sentence by gorgeous sentence then crescendos to a scorching, utterly satisfying ending." — Samantha M. Bailey, USA Today and #1 national bestselling author of Woman on the Edge
“Incredibly fast-paced and savvy, Lisa Barr takes readers into the high stakes world of art theft through the eyes of a young, gutsy journalist. Thick with history, scandal, romance and deceit, Woman on Fire is a truly compulsive read.” — Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of Local Woman Missing
"Barr’s riveting dive into the dark side of the international art world, led by an intrepid young journalist, had me on the edge of my seat. A deliciously addictive page turner filled with twists and an unforgettable villain." — Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue
"Addictively propulsive and laced with rapid-fire twists and turns, this sizzling tale of deception, lust, Nazi-looted art, and murder crackles with tension and comes vividly, strikingly alive in Lisa Barr's skilled hands. Part thriller, part World War II epic, part journey through the pain of loss, Woman on Fire is as vibrant as the searing work of art it revolves around, with characters so richly drawn you'll feel as if you've known them--or, in some cases, been terrified by them--forever. Woman in Gold meets Spotlight meets Basic Instinct in this extraordinary novel, which is certain to be snapped up by Hollywood just as surely as it will be devoured in one sitting by captivated readers who can't turn the pages quickly enough. Woman on Fire is unforgettable." — Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars
“We’re in a golden age of female thriller-writers, and with her latest novel, Lisa Barr joins the ranks of must-read authors. Woman on Fire hits a fiction trifecta: historical depth, fast-paced intrigue, and a riveting heroine. Juxtaposing the transformative power of art with the dark side of human nature, WOMAN ON FIRE is the best kind of page-turner, one that makes you think and feel long after the final page is turned. I’m ready for more!” — Jamie Brenner, author of Blush and Gilt
About the Author
Lisa Barr has been an editor at The Jerusalem Post, Today’s Chicago Woman, and Moment magazine, and an editor/reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Among the highlights of her career, Lisa covered the famous “handshake” between the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and President Bill Clinton at the White House. Lisa is also the creator and editor of the popular parenting blog, GIRLilla Warfare. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Today, Fox & Friends, and Australia TV for her work as an author, journalist and blogger. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and three daughters (aka: Drama Central).
- Publisher : Harper Paperbacks (March 1, 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0063040883
- ISBN-13 : 978-0063040885
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.94 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #9,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #107 in Historical Mystery
- #108 in World War II Historical Fiction (Books)
- #251 in Mothers & Children Fiction
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2023
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Top reviews from the United States
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The real woman on fire is the girl fighting for true from beginning to end. We all woman have a woman in fire within.
In the first quarter of the book Barr takes her time to introduce the reader to all the key players. scandal. It’s satisfying to see how they all fit together. I really grew to love Jules’ ambition and gutsiness, Ellis’s undying love for his mother and even the villain, Margaux, had her tender side showing Barr’s ability to create multidimensional characters.
Jules- an ambitious journalist that will do anything for a story. She just talked her way into a job with the leading investigative reporter in Chicago.
Dan Mansfield- runs an investigative team and is completely committed to his career sacrificing his family. He hires Jules to locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: legendary Expressionist artist Ernst Engel’s most famous work, Woman on Fire. World-renowned shoe designer
Ellis Baum wants this portrait of a beautiful, mysterious woman for deeply personal reasons, and has enlisted Dan’s help to find it. But Jules doesn’t have much time; the famous designer is dying.
Margaux de Laurent - powerful and seductive also searches for the painting. Heir to her art collector family’s millions, Margaux is a cunning gallerist who gets everything she wants. The only thing standing in her way is Jules. Yet the passionate and determined Jules has unexpected resources of her own, including
Adam Baum, Ellis’s grandson. A recovering addict and brilliant artist in his own right, Adam was once in Margaux’s clutches. He knows how ruthless she is, and he’ll do anything to help Jules locate the painting before Margaux gets to it first.
A thrilling tale of secrets, love, and sacrifice that illuminates the destructive cruelty of war and greed and the triumphant power of beauty and love, Woman on Fire tells the story of a remarkable woman and an exquisite work of art that burns bright, moving through hands, hearts, and history
I highly recommend this book if you like historical fiction, mysteres or thrillers! You won’t be disappointed. I can definitely see this book being translated to the big screen!
I want to begin this by saying that I love Lisa Barr’s work. She has a real talent for storytelling that keeps the reader engrossed.
What works: the story is entertaining, the characters are well drawn, and the writing is good. The characters stories are compelling and their motivations are very relatable. I even felt sorry for the villain at times.
The book is readable and enjoyable and I will recommend it to all of my reading friends.
There were a few things that didn’t work for me as a reader. I’m not a fan of prologues, especially when they do nothing to enhance the story. It may have just been my headspace at the time, but this prologue made it difficult for me to acclimate to the story at first and it didn’t add to the story.
I love flashbacks, finding out tidbits of a character’s history peppered throughout a narrative. I do not, however, enjoy chapters of backstory or half chapters of backstory that take me out of the story. Sadly, I’ve found this in several books lately. I’m not sure why authors are choosing to do this, but I’m not a fan.
Most of all, though, were the two POVs that were added for one instance each. This is another thing I’ve seen recently that really bugs me. POV is like a promise to the reader and it really yanks me out of the story when a POV is dropped in out of nowhere for one chapter or one small scene.
This would’ve been a five star read for me, but I can’t forgive the POV thing, so I give this one 4.5 ⭐️
Top reviews from other countries
On the whole, Woman on Fire is a good novel. Our primary character, journalist Jules Roth carries the storyline well, and most of her interactions with the other characters are well written. Unfortunately, the book is unnecessarily wordy in places. In addition, some minor scenes were too long as they ultimately contributed very little to the plot.
Barr gets carried away with certain characters, especially Margaux de Laurent; she was just too much. Pages that go on and on about her emotions, especially when angry, made her more cartoonish than powerful.
The portrayal of world-famous shoe designer Ellis Baum was uneven. Was he ageing but still creative or ageing and feeble? His sudden intense relationship with Jules and her equally sudden devotion to him felt forced to enhance the story.
One of the other main characters, Adam Chase, was nothing unusual; rich boy, talented artist, drug addict, nearly dies, gets clean, becomes a hermit, creates brilliant art, art world welcomes him back.
The book’s core was still excellent, and I recommend it; just expect an enjoyable novel, nothing more or less.