by Laurie Lico Albanese
WHEN: APR 1
WHERE: MONTCLAIR LITERARY FESTIVAL – Montclair, NJ
From the dawn of the twentieth century to the devastation of World War II, this exhilarating novel of love, war, art, and family gives voice to two extraordinary women and brings to life the true story behind the creation and near destruction of Gustav Klimt’s most remarkable paintings.
In the dazzling glitter of 1900 Vienna, Adele Bloch-Bauer—young, beautiful, brilliant, and Jewish—meets painter Gustav Klimt. Wealthy in everything but freedom, Adele embraces Klimt’s renegade genius as the two awaken to the erotic possibilities on the canvas and beyond. Though they enjoy a life where sex and art are just beginning to break through the façade of conventional society, the city is also exhibiting a disturbing increase in anti-Semitism, as political hatred foments in the shadows of Adele’s coffee house afternoons and cultural salons.
Nearly 40 years later, Adele’s niece Maria Altmann is a newlywed when the Nazis invade Austria—and overnight, her beloved Vienna becomes a war zone. When her husband is arrested and her family is forced out of their home, Maria must summon the courage and resilience that is her aunt’s legacy if she is to survive and keep her family—and their history—alive.
Will Maria and her family escape the grip of Nazis’ grip? And what will become of the paintings that her aunt nearly sacrificed everything for?
Impeccably researched and a “must-read for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Paula McLain’s Circling the Sun” (Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Stolen Beauty intertwines the tales of two remarkable women across more than a hundred years. It juxtaposes passion and discovery against hatred and despair, and shines a light on our ability to love, to destroy, and above all, to endure.
Laurie Lico Albanese has published fiction, poetry, journalism, travel writing, creative nonfiction, and memoir. Her books include Blue Suburbia: Almost a Memoir, Lynelle by the Sea and The Miracles of Prato, co-written with art historian Laura Morowitz. Laurie is married to a publishing executive and is the mother of two children. To learn more visit her at www.LaurieLicoAlbanese.com
"Albanese artfully weaves Adele’s story with Maria’s harrowing life under the Nazis, and reflections on marriage and fidelity.
But it’s hard to read Stolen Beauty without seeing ugly echoes in today’s headlines, with the clarion call of 'America first' and immigrants singled out as 'the problem.'
Seven decades after World War II, have we learned nothing?"—USA Today