In Danielle Ganek’s debut novel, Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him, she introduces the reader to the world of the gallery girl.
“They call us gallerinas. We’re generally considered a loathsome breed, gallery receptionists. Aren’t we represented almost universally as obnoxious, entitled, pretty girls in great clothes? Yes, yes, stock characters in miniature art-world dramas, we’re pretentious creatures in intellectual fashion and high heels, dripping with attitude and sarcasm, rolling our eyes at visitors requesting something as mundane as the price list. God forbid you want to know where the bathroom is.”
Known for their condescending attitudes and general snobbery gallerinas have acquired quite a nasty reputation that Mia is determined to get rid of single-handedly simply through courtesy. She’s nice to all of the artists, dealers, and collectors who shove their way through the hard-to-open doors of the Simon Pryce Gallery in New York’s Chelsea art scene.
One artist in particular has her smitten (in a sweet kind of way, Mia has sworn off dating any artists or members of their entourage) at the moment and he DEFINITELY doesn’t fit the mold of hot emerging artist. Quite the opposite, Jeffrey Finelli is a short round fifty-eight year old man missing one arm. The night of his very first opening, the pinnacle of his career, the unexpected happens and Jeffrey is struck by a cab and killed. Instantly the popular opinion on his artwork goes from ho-hum effort to ultra in-demand must have and this is most especially true of his masterpiece painting entitled Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him, a figurative painting of his niece as a young girl.
As demand heats up for the titular painting, a buffoonish competition erupts between greedy gallery owners, back stabbing collectors with more money than brains and Jeffrey’s niece Lulu who feels she should get the painting because her uncle promised it to her. Mia is torn between loyalty to her eccentric boss, the affection of a new friendship with Lulu, and the possibility of love from an unexpected (and unwelcome) direction. Mia’s in trouble alright, but she finds that years of social training in New York’s art scene have toughened her in unexpected ways and she just may be able to come out ahead of the game.
I truly, truly, truly LOVED this book! Just last night I went to the book store and bought my own copy to add to my personal home library so that I can take it back out and revisit these people at my leisure. Go out to the library and get a copy today!
Danielle Ganek is a former Mademoiselle and Woman's Day editor now living with her husband and three children in New York.
Some of the great reviews from her website (and take note she got one from Vera Wang!):
"...an amusing, suspenseful novel that delights..." PEOPLE MAGAZINE
"Danielle Ganek truly captures the excitement, intrigue and seduction of the contemporary art world. This book is filled with larger-than-life characters engaged in a glamorous high-stakes game. I loved it." VERA WANG
"Danielle Ganek has crafted not only a page- turning story with engaging characters but a wry look into the world of contemporary art—a delightful journey for anyone who loves getting lost in a good book." ARTHUR GOLDEN
"If I was a copycat I’d take this book and call it mine." RICHARD PRINCE
"She got it right, and that’s saying something. Sometimes a picture is worth considerably more than a thousand words." LARRY GAGOSIAN
"In her debut novel, Lulu Meets God And Doubts Him, Danielle Ganek captures the absurdity of the New York art scene with wide and witty brushstrokes." VANITY FAIR
"...a page-turner set against a refreshingly unique backdrop..." PEOPLE MAGAZINE