This Devil buys Masterpieces — “Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him” by Danielle Ganek
(“The DaVinci Code” is candy to me. As was “Valley of the Dolls.” These are two books I revere highly for their sheer entertainment value. Everyone needs a little less-than-serious in their literary lives at some point.)
“Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him,” by Danielle Ganek is pure candy.
As was expected, it’s easy to compare it to “The Devil Wears Prada.” The plot is basically the same; A nice girl works in a high-profile scene and gets involved in complicated shenanigans with important people. However, what differentiated it to me the most from (and also what made me enjoy it more than) “…Prada” is the voice of the main character.
Mia doesn’t spend the book complaining.
Andi, the assistant-heroine in “…Prada” never seemed to understand the key point that yes, if you’re taking an entry-level job at a place of big business like Vogue magazine, you’re going to have to do some crappy chores. You may have to get your demanding boss’s dinner and coffee. You may have to work late nights and do some ridiculous things. Your boss might also be unpleasant. Unlike Andi, Mia doesn’t view those things as beneath her. When Simon, the owner of the gallery she works for, asks her to get something to mop up the tea he spills, she just does it. When asked to get visitors Pellgrino, she does it. When she’s asked to ditch her plans for drinks with friends to attend a fancy party with her boss, she does it. Because it’s her job.
I’ll get off my soap box now, really.
Mia, our intrepid and reasonable heroine, wants to be a painter, but hasn’t actually painted in a while and hasn’t told anyone around her that it’s her dream. The title of the book comes from a painting that is being shown in the gallery she works in. It’s a piece by Jeffrey Finelli. On the opening night of the Finelli showing, the painter steps outside for a cigarette and winds up dead. Suddenly, all the art collectors and dealers who viewed his paintings with nothing more than a “meh” have elevated his work to that of genius, and his best piece – “Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him” – kicks off a battle between a society woman who wants to be accepted in the art world despite being ridiculous, a notorious collector, and a famous actor. Into the middle of all this walks Lulu herself, the painters niece who he never met.
There’s romance, there’s gossip, there’s underhanded dealings and colorful characters (including a darling of the art world who insists on getting naked at parties) and far-away artsy lands, and it’ll all a candy-coated treat for the brain. I enjoyed Mia’s adventure, as well as her as a character. This isn’t a case where the assistant happens to be staggeringly pretty and happens to just magically wind up getting everything she ever dreamed of. For a novel about these untouchable inner-circle worlds, I found it to be rather.. believable.
And I really didn’t think I’d be saying that when I started reading it.
I recommend this book for plane rides or a bus read. Amusing and, at times, ironic and/or touching, it’s a breeze of a read that will keep you entertained.
There’s nothing wrong with pure entertainment.