Monday, July 6, 2020

Book Review - The Talented Miss Farwell by Emily Gray Tedrowe

Photo Credit - Amazon
In the late 1990s, Miss Rebecca Farwell made a killing at Christie's in New York City, right when the art market finally recovered. Reba is dressed to impressed with couture YSL and drinking only the finest champagne at trendy restaurants. She is a model of a wealthy art collector. Reba has many different personas, to some she is a ruthless businesswoman and to others, she is only interested in art because of how much money she can make.

In the small town of Pierson, Illinois, Miss Farwell is known as someone totally different. She is known as Becky, a single woman who works tirelessly for her town as the town's comptroller.  She still lives at her childhood home and wears sensible clothing and shoes. Becky is the only one in the town who understands all the ins and outs of Pierson's accounts. She is the last one in the office and the first one in the office crunching the numbers. The town is always in awe at her ability to find money when they need it most. However, no one knows that she "borrows" funds from the town's account to fund her art habit. She tries to repay the money when she can but, the art business is very cutthroat and unpredictable.

The premise of the novel sounds interesting but, I am not sure how this book is classified as a thriller. There are only two possible outcomes and there are no surprise twists. I felt like the whole novel was rather pointless and there was no "purpose" to this novel. I had a hard time understanding and liking Becky and her addiction to collecting art. I felt like she was buying and selling art to feel in control and have money but, then she did some weird things. For example, she ruined expensive brand name bags and donated expensive shoes with the tags on. I would think someone who is literally killing themselves with their compulsive behavior of stealing would take better care of their things. I felt like there wasn't enough time explaining Becky's motives and personality.

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