Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Talented Miss Farwell

 The Talented Miss Farwell

Author: Emily Gray Tedrowe

Narrator: Allyson Ryan

Publisher: Harper Audio

Year: 2020


Becky Farwell had always been a go-getter and good with numbers. She helped her father revamp his business while she was in high school. She started working in her small town’s city hall instead of going to college. As she learned the ins and outs of the town’s accounting and banking systems, she realized she could take advantage of her position to start skimming money from the town to fuel her passion for art collection. She spends the next 20 years leading a double life. In one life she’s a high flying art collector and dealer draped in designer clothes. In her other life, she’s a small town city employee in sensible shoes who robs her town blind. 

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book before I started it. Becky seems like the all American small town girl with a head for numbers. But she really just wants artwork and luxury items. In some books the main character is an antihero but you like them anyway and cheer them on even when they do terrible things. I didn’t really like Becky. She was truly an awful person. She could have stopped stealing. She could have sold her art collection to pay the town back. She could have just used the proceeds from her art deals to buy more art. But she continued stealing for twenty years as her town cut services, stopped upgrades, and inched closer to bankruptcy. 

I like thrillers that have action and this one doesn’t. Becky moves money around and skims some off. She buys fabulous art works. She reads art magazines and goes to parties with people in the art world. She tries to do something good for her town. She skims more money. Rinse and repeat. 

The book is well written. The author does a wonderful job contrasting the atmosphere of life in a small rural town and the monied art world as Becky tries to keep her lives secret separate from one another. Allyson Ryan’s narration of the audiobook is great. I’m not sure if I would have gotten through the print version of the book. Ryan’s narration kept me going. This wasn’t my cup of tea, but if you’re an art lover or enjoy thrillers without violence and gore, give this a try. 

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