The Woman Who Heard Color by Kelly Jones is a powerful book. It is the story of Lauren O’Farrell, an art detective who is trying to retrieve works of art stolen during World War II and an 82 year old woman, Isabella Fletcher, whose mother, Hanna, was an art dealer in Germany.
Hanna has an unusual talent- she hears colors. Each color in art signifies a sound to her.
The story vacillates from Lauren’s interview of Mrs. Fletcher in New York City to the story of Hanna, Mrs. Fletcher’s mother, in Germany prior to and during World War II. The author does a masterful job of detailing both time periods. Of Lauren being torn between work and motherhood, Jones writes,
“She felt that familiar tug of maternal conflict and guilt.”
Of Hanna working in the art gallery in Munich, she writes,
“..She felt a chill, as if the air in the room had cooled, and it was she who shivered now. He had not told Hanna his name. He did not introduce himself. But the drawings were all signed- A. Hitler.”
If you at all follow Kandinsky’s art, you will love this book as I did.
Berkley Trade provided a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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