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Review: The Accidental Art Thief

The Accidental Art Thief - Joan Schweighardt

Originally posted @ **ReadingDiva's Blog**

 

When I was given the opportunity to review The Accidental Art Thief I didn’t think twice, I jumped head first. The premise of the story told me that I would enjoy it, thought I expected a fast paced all out action, what I encountered was a compelling story of regrets, solace,  humor, acceptance and human connection.

I was very pleased with this story. While I expected something completely different I can honestly say I was nicely surprised to have found a story that gives the reader not only a great set of characters, but also a story that seems to have come from a crazy tale told by a distant uncle.  The Accidental Art Thief is not a James Bond sort of read, not at all. The Accidental Art Thief is the story of Zinc, a woman who has spent many years in the company of an old man who she served as a housekeeper and a companion.  While at times they shared stories other times they shared their silence, a friendship that would transcend the age difference and societal backgrounds.

Kathryn Winesky who goes by the nickname of Zinc is a forty five year old woman whose innocence and lack of life experience and somewhat social awkwardness makes her a weirdo in the eyes of her brother and those who simply do not know her. As a young woman, Zinc experiences loss and pain when both of her parents die, making a dent in her life and her future.  After having found her place in the company of the old man Thomas Quickwater, Zinc’s life changes for the best. She becomes the old man’s companion and friend, often sharing thoughts and conversations about art and literature. However all that changes when the old man as she calls him dies.

I really enjoyed Zinc’s character, while not exactly your typical heroine she holds a charming personality that makes you like her from the moment you meet her. I think the one thing that I enjoyed the most is the way in which life keeps throwing things at her and while she doesn’t necessarily know what to do with herself, she keeps coming back on top. The author gives us a character that doesn’t show as an experienced, strong or well verse in life but a character that manage to handle every situation life throws at her.

From Zinc inner battles with her conscience forcing her to making decisions she never thought she would have to make, to Marge, a troubled woman who drags the failures and troubles of the past to a present she wishes she could control, to Frank a brother who selfish and self centered personality only shows how flawed relatives can be to Tymothy at the computer shop who seem to judge Zinc from the moment he saw her. All these characters have something unique to offer, they compliment the story in a way that make sense, making it at times funny, sometimes ridiculous but ultimately enjoyable. They each hold flaws that make the story a bit surreal,  allowing the reader to experience their crude reality in a comical and humorous way, because we all have a selfish relative, we have all been judged, we have all lied about something in our lives. I can’t say I read this story without cracking a smile or without chuckles.

Overall, I think we all have a bit of Zinc in us, while some have a hard time coping with life, others move along with it as if nothing is of consequence.  If you want a fast pace story then move along, The Accidental Art Thief isn’t for you, but if you are looking for a story that explores the reality of a woman whose personality is everything you never want to be but to whom life seems to favor in a strange way then read The Accidental Art Thief , you will not regret it.