Do you like to debate what makes art “art”? Then this is the story for you. This family drama introduces us to the Morels -Arthur, Penny and Will. They are a complicated group whose problems seem to stem from their strong feelings about art. When Arthur publishes his second book, a barely fictionalized account of his life with a shocking ending, his whole world turns upside down.
This story challenges us as reader to think about how we define art and how far we are willing to stretch that definition. An astute observation by a character in the book is that she sees “art and commerce at opposite ends of the hall.” This seems to be the thrust of the debate in this book. The Morels is a complex, layered story that I enjoyed even though the middle becomes a bit bogged down with background information and occasionally the writing feels heavy-handed (such as naming the main character “Art”). The ending, however, is surprising and intriguing and completely worth the wait.