Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: Fugitive Blue by Claire Thomas

Genre: Contemporary/Historical Fiction
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2008

The story of a young art conservator and her work on a 15th century panel painting in striking ultramarine. As she works she reflects on the story of the painting and the story follows the painting from its controversial creation in Renaissance Venice to its reappearance in the 18th century, to Impressionist era Paris, before its eventual arrival in Australia as one of the few possessions of a postwar Greek migrant family. Between these segments the narrator dissects her own crumbling relationship.

'Fugitive pigment: a pigment that is particularly susceptible to changing over time'

This is a book about the inevitable changes time makes on all things and the close and careful work needed to bring the extent of the damage into the light, be it a painting or a relationship.

It's a short book, only 218 pages and that for me was the big problem. As well as the central theme there are the four separate stories of the painting and the number of pages doesn't allow time for any of them or their characters to develop properly. I felt as though just as I was becoming really interested in the people and their relationships it ended and I was left wanting to know what happened.

On the plus side the writing style is lovely....... but overall I was disappointed.

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