Bourland has an uncanny knack for spatial description and relates artwork and every last thing in Pine City with pristinely observed color and feeling. She also nails the creep factor, and her narrator’s high tolerance for it, with foreboding signs that the no-name painter isn’t totally welcome there, and that there’s more to Carey’s story. The deck stacked against her, the narrator tells the glitteringly compelling tale of her fevered summer and wisely reveals meaningful intersections of class, gender, and making art.
Bourland’s painstaking research on the practical and emotional aspects of making art is on vivid display. Readers eager for a glimpse into the New York art scene will be enthralled, but despite the glitz and glamour, it’s frequently a dehumanizing place to be, especially for women ... A haunting, dizzying meditation on identity and the blurred lines between life and art.
... exceptional ... Bourland expertly shines a light on the nature of female ambition and desire and the often dark heart of inspiration. Readers fascinated with the blood, sweat, and tears of creating art will be especially rewarded.