: The chrysalis: a novel (9780345494665) : Heather Terrell : Books
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The Chrysalis: A Novel

by Heather Terrell
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • Publishing date: 15/05/2007
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780345494665
  • ISBN: 0345494660


Haarlem, Holland, seventeenth-century: The city’s chief magistrate commissions a family portrait from Dutch master painter Johannes Miereveld. But when the artist sees the magistrate’s daughter, Amalia, an illicit love affair begins. Miereveld creates a captivating masterpiece, The Chrysalis–a stunning portrait of the Virgin Mary, full of Catholic symbols, that outrages his Protestant patron and signals the death of his career.

New York, present day: Mara Coyne is one high-profile case away from making partner at her powerful Manhattan law firm, and now the client that is sure to seal the deal has fallen into her lap. The prestigious Beazley’s auction house is about to sell a lost masterwork, The Chrysalis, in an auction that is destined to become legendary. Standing in the way, however, is the shocking accusation that the painting belongs not to Beazley’s client but to Hilda Baum, the daughter of a Dutch collector who lost his paintings–and his life–to the Nazis.

The case brings an unexpected surprise when Mara discovers that Beazley’s in-house attorney is Michael Roarke, a man for whom she once had an intense attraction. But the same skills that make her a brilliant litigator also make Mara suspicious, and she begins to believe that Hilda’s tragic family story might be more than just heartbreaking–it might be true. And the man she’s come to love might not be who she thought he was at all.

Spanning centuries and continents, The Chrysalis is a brilliant, intelligent, fast-paced thriller that melds art and history into a provocative work of fiction. From the underground Catholicism in seventeenth-century Holland to the unspeakable crimes of the Nazis and the repercussions that reverberate to this day throughout the art world, Heather Terrell has created a fascinating story that will entrance readers to the very last page.

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  • Good Book
    From Amazon

    I've read two books by Heather Terrell and enjoyed both. The Map Thief and this book are both enjoyable reads. I like the way the author goes back and forth in time.

  • The Crysallis
    From Amazon

    It's a little slow, but it keeps me hanging on wanting to know what is going to happen next.

  • PW review is unbelievably and stupidly wrong!
    From Amazon

    I read this book some time ago, and just noticed that Ms. Terrell has a new book out called THE MAP THIEF, which I admit I have not read. But I did read CHRYSALIS, and enjoyed it very, very much. In fact, I read it back when it was still in galley form, and was impressed by the art history details, by Ms. Terrell's ability to keep the suspense ticking away, and by the way she captured the art world. It kept me entertained during a very long plane ride. The reason I'm putting in my two cents' worth now is that I just noticed the review from Publishers Weekly, and cannot believe how wrongheaded and cruel it is. They would have you believe this is a bad novel; may I say that the PW review is, in fact, the worthless piece of writing here? I hope Ms. Terrell keeps writing many books to come. She can certainly create intriguing plots.

  • Fascinating story that crosses centuries
    From Amazon

    The Chrysalis is Terrell's first book, and her legal training and experience are evident here in this fascinating historical mystery. The story is told in three distinct eras: 1) the first is the creation of the painting, The Chrysalis, by Johannes Miereveld, a Dutch artist from the 1600s. 2) The second is the story of the owner in 1944, the Baum family in Belgium, Jews who have converted to Catholicism, and who love the painting for its Catholic iconography. 3) The bulk of the tale is told in the present day, when Beazley's auction house is planning on selling it for an unidentified seller, and Hilda Baum sues for the painting, claiming it was stolen from her family by the Nazis. Beazley's provenance research shows it was sold by the family to a dealer in Nice. Mara Coyne, an attorney at a prestigious Manhattan firm, is convinced winning this case will encourage her firm to offer her a partnership. A bit dismayed when she finds out that the attorney for Beazley's that she will be working with is Michael Roarke, a sensitive and intelligent man she was attracted to in college. Still she soldiers on and her legal research proves brilliant. Her ability to keep her distance from Michael, however, is not so good--they form a secret relationship quickly. Mara also finds herself getting close to the main provenance researcher for Beazley's, the elderly Lillian Joyce. A sudden email discovery shows that her case and all she knows about Michael and Lillian may be false; her world is shattered. Does she want to be party to a fraud? The various eras are portrayed well. I wish the book were longer so we could have lingered more in the 1600s with Johannes and Amalia. Armchair Interviews says: The legal roadblocks to proving a painting's ownership when stolen by the Nazis are really amazing.

  • Page turner
    From Amazon

    I did not want to put this book down! I loved the characters and the past and present story lines. A well written, thought provoking story and an entertaining mystery all in one.

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