The Accidental Art Thief by Joan Schweighardt
The Accidental Art Thief by Joan Schweighardt is the story about Zinc and what happens after the old man, Thomas Quickwater, she’s cared for for the past twenty-five years dies and she’s forced to move on with her life. Thanks to an unpleasant encounter with Thomas Quickwater’s daughter, Marge, Zinc steals the old man’s favorite painting and crashes with her brother Frankie, which causes a whole host of other problems. Eventually, through a roundabout journey that causes a whole lot of problems and character growth for the whole cast of characters mixed with hilarity, the painting ends up in its rightful place.
The first thing I want to address is that this book claims to have a touch of magical realism. I’ve never read (that I know of) a book with magical realism elements, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. There were some magical moments, but nothing overtly obvious, and from what I understand, that’s the point. I’m also not one that’s great with symbolism (despite my college lit teacher’s best efforts). If an author describes a blue curtain, all I see is a blue curtain and not what the curtain represents. That being said, I feel like I missed a whole other depth of meaning in this book because of that. Still, I really enjoyed the book and will probably read it again.
Now, the whole reason I kept coming back to this book was the fantastic writing and realistic characters. There’s Zinc, Marge, Frankie and a host of other supporting characters. Strangely enough, I didn’t love any of the characters, but I did love that they were realistic, flaws and all. I truly did hate Marge, even when I heard her story, and found her whiny and manipulative. Frankie struck me as selfish and not at all the big brother Zinc needed, but he came around. And Zinc? I really did enjoy watching her grow as a character and was cheering for her in the end, especially when she leaves the airport. I didn’t like her boyfriend Mark at all, or their “insta-love” but that seemed appropriate for the type of charcters they were and I wasn’t surprised with the decision she made regarding him. I did end up loving Zinc and Frankie and cheering them through the end. Frankie had his moment and stepped up as the big brother his sister needed at the end. I loved the big twist and really enjoyed how fate brough all the characters together. Maybe that’s the magical realism aspect I was missing before. I can easily imagine a happily ever after for all of them.
My Rating: 4.2/5
There’s a lot more I want to say about the book and I could go on and on, but I don’t want to spoil it for you!
If you’re interested in this book, it’s for sale on Amazon for only $4.99!
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