Elizabeth Kostova's second novel will delight some readers and disappoint others. Though she explores love, travels through time and place, and provides a satisfying mystery, these similarities to The Historian
do not conceal the reality that The Swan Thieves
is quite a different novel. I was completely satisfied by the story and happy I did not need to wait any longer for it. At the same time, a lack of depth and some structural problems made me wonder if she felt rushed. After all, she took ten years to write The Historian
and only four to write The Swan Thieves
In a letter to readers on her website, Kostova tells us that her book is about obsession, painting and love. On the surface that's true, but there's much more going on in this story. Robert Oliver is obsessed with painting, with a mysterious woman and with himself. He is the type of...
Beyond the Book
Fiction about Women, Artists and Mad Genius
One of the key themes in The Swan Thieves
is the challenge of male and female artists who form relationships and must navigate the storms of artistic temperament and genius. The theme could be looked at as a genre or perhaps a subgenre of novels about art/romance.
We present for your reading pleasure some favorites of the genre:
Clara, by Janice Galloway
The torturous love affair and marriage of two musical geniuses: Clara and Robert Schumann. Clara maintains her talent and drive despite her husband's fame...