When Stella Krakus, curator at a renowned Manhattan art museum, finds an unusual map among the possessions of a missing colleague, the strangest week of her life turns into an insatiable quest to discover the map’s origin. Through the smart, dazzling prose of a witty narrator, accomplished poet Lucy Ives creates a mysterious historical adventure sure to delight and inspire.
Thirty-something Stella is enduring almost more than she can handle. Complete with a fading workplace affair, annoying appearances by her almost-ex-husband, lunch with her glamorous and successful mother and a museum sponsor who wants to take over the world’s water supply, her week could not be more bizarre—until her coworker Paul is pronounced missing. As Stella begins to solve the mystery behind the map of a historical utopia, she is pulled into the museum’s origins and realizes there was much more to Paul and his work than she knew, with the potential to alter her life and her career as she knows it.
Impossible Views of the World is an original debut ringing with smart prose, engaging humor and cultivated taste. Similar to the brilliance on display in Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, Ives’ genius is apparent in the intricate way she weaves ironic confession, romantic comedy and artful treatise with explorations into the historic art world. The novel is best read thoughtfully to fully capture the details of Stella’s academic discoveries and the playful writing style incorporated into the banter between the lively characters. Readers are invited into Stella’s mind as she navigates the plethora of emotions that come with an early-30s crisis. Full of intelligence and imagination, this relatable literary mystery will charm even the most apprentice art devotee.