Monday, April 17, 2017

Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese

“A powerful and important tale of love and war, art and family…I was transported.” —Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author

“Stolen Beauty is a work of art itself—one that is simultaneously alarming and comforting.” —Wall Street Journal

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 fa├žade 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 forty 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.


Set in the twilight years of the Hapsburg Empire, Stolen Beauty is a spellbinding Viennese tale at the start of the twentieth century. The novel explores the tales of two women. The first is about a woman named Adele Block-Bauer who is an the love interest and inspiration of a famed Viennese artist Guistav Klimt. The second tale is about Maria, the niece of Adele during the tie of the holocaust and beyond. The famous painting "Woman in Gold" binds the two women together. 

Stolen Beauty forms the base for the movie "Woman in Gold". With its stunning prose, fast pace, excellent research, and detailed descriptions, this one story not to be missed. From the Holocaust to modern day, there is plenty to love about this intense, emotional story. I definitely recommend it!

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