Book: Paint it Black by Janet Fitch

The author was recommended to me although I don’t know if this is the book they meant. I give it whirl anyway.

Essentially, the whole book is the aftermath of a suicide. Josie has hooked up with Michael who is from a well to do creative family, the opposite of her own and they are living in relative poverty.

That pretty much sums up Josie’s life, poor yet happy with just their dreams of running away to Paris to live, still poor, still artists but in Paris rather than in LA misery.

Josie works as a life model and actress in bit films and thanks her lucky stars that artist, ‘beautiful Michael’ chose her. Michael has low self esteem despite famous, wealthy parents who sent him to Harvard, hence the suicide. Josie herself clearly sees herself as unworthy of his attention and refers back to some of the low rent men in her life.

What the book unveils, very slowly are the secrets Michael kept to himself. These become apparent through Josie’s treacherous, dysfunctional and highly unlikely relationship formed with his mother, Meredith, after she publicly dammed her at Michael’s funeral. Meredith is an internationally renowned classical musician, born to second generation immigrants and divorced from Cal, a renowned writer.

Meredith has been bought up with servants and money as has Michael who has shunned this life to live in a shack with Josie, who has to work at least two jobs to keep food on their table whilst he works mostly as an unpaid artist. But why?

 Josie spends the weeks following the funeral seeking the truth from the only person who could tell her; Meredith. Why would someone who loves her commit suicide and leave her behind? It turns out the couple had their difficulties and Josie is left to work out why she was running herself ragged to support a rich but non earning artist.

She has no family support, a decent home or inheritance and he had servants, a home in Paris and first class travel.

Will all be revealed?

Worth a read

7½/10

Inspiration factor 8/10

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