Vera Bellington seems to have it all – beauty, a rich husband, furs, jewelry and a penthouse at the exclusive Angelus. But her marriage is loveless and she vacantly socializes during the day and sits alone in her beautiful penthouse most nights. Then a mysterious painter, Emil Hallan, is hired to paint a mural in the poolroom of the Angelus and brings Vera to a fork in the road that she must decide on. She doesn’t know if she can trust Emil, though she has her own secrets from her life at Vassar involving her best friend, Bea. The book fluctuates from Vera’s time in Vassar with her life with her husband in New York.
I have always been under the impression that the women of the Roaring Twenties were daring, adventurous and defiant. Vera couldn’t have been less so. I found her to be extremely shallow, only caring about society and her reputation. I don’t want to give away any of the plot for those who may enjoy this book. I will mention one scene that I found particularly annoying but doesn’t give anything away. Her husband had called yet again and left a message with one of the servants telling Vera that he would not be home for dinner. The servant asked Vera if she wanted to dine in the dining room. She couldn’t bear to sit in the dining room alone again so she told the servant that she had eaten a lot at lunchtime and would let him know if she needed anything. She hadn’t eaten too much at lunchtime so there she sat, “lonely and hungry”. How very silly.
There was really no suspense in this book, though it was insinuated that there was. I figured out most of Emil’s secret long before he revealed it. And the “brink of catastrophe” that Bea supposedly brought Vera to at Vassar was certainly no catastrophe. I didn’t feel the love that Vera supposedly has for the painter, only her love of herself. The characters are not fleshed out enough to ever really care about any of them. Not recommended.
I won this book in a LibraryThing giveaway, which I entered with the understanding that I would give an honest review after reading.