The Collector’s Apprentice by B.A. Shapiro

The Collector’s Apprentice

From The Bestselling Author of The Art Forger and The MuralistIt’s the summer of 1922, and nineteen-year-old Paulien Mertens finds herself in Paris—broke, disowned, and completely alone. Everyone in Belgium, including her own family, believes she stole millions in a sophisticated con game perpetrated by her then-fiancé, George Everard. To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who lost everything, she creates a new identity, a...

Details The Collector’s Apprentice

TitleThe Collector’s Apprentice
Release DateOct 16th, 2018
PublisherAlgonquin Books
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Art, Cultural, France

Reviews The Collector’s Apprentice

  • Linda
    Schemers and scoundrels hide and blend behind the scenes like the blurred textures within an art masterpiece. Within time, though, the eyes focus more readily and true colors are ultimately revealed.It's 1922 at a small estate in Belgium and we find Paulien Mertens lost in the pangs of love. Her nineteen years on this earth don't adequately prepare her for the waves of ill-intent by one George Everard. George has presented her with a sizable enga...
  • Laura Rash
    A Ponzi scheme leads a woman to start a new life with a new identity in the art world. Just not my cup of tea tho I enjoyed her last book. This was a Goodreads win.
  • Linda Quinn
    This is another gem from Shapiro. A young woman is preyed upon and tricked by an older con man, leading to the ruin of her family and her banishment from them. The rest of the story moves forward from her banishment and into the past to show how she got there. Full of passion, betrayal and a satisfying denouement this one will keep you hooked.
  • Julie Klein
    In The Collector's Apprentice, B.A. Shapiro takes readers back in time to the art world of the 1920s where we meet Matisse, Gertrude Stein and other visionaries of the day. It's a wonderful historical novel for anyone interested in art and art history, in particular. The story is well written, fairly fast paced, and exciting. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Shapiro's earlier work, The Art Forger.
  • Rljulie
    I’m probably too close to the material to read this objectively, but it’s a frolicking and fun art-centered historical fiction, even when it gets the “history” part wackily and egregiously wrong. My least favorite aspect is how the main character seems to have time-travelled from the 21st century, with its mores, attitudes and expectations—so much so that at one point she’s trying to figure out how to work her art history degree into ...
  • Natalie
    This is an incredibly interesting novel about the young woman who worked with the fictioalized Albert Barnes in assembling the magnificent Barnes Collection in Philadelphia. Vivienne had been duped by a con man and lost her comfort and her family. She totally reinvents herself and finds work as an assistant to the millionaire art collector. She works with him in Europe and ultimately moves to Philadelphia as his aide. What should have been a happ...
  • Melissa
    Not bad. I liked the parts with Matisse best.
  • Marianne
    Paulien Mertens, AKA Vivienne Gregsby, is determined to get back what's been taken from her and her family by her fiance, a con man with global schemes. Can Vivienne beat him at his own game or will she find it impossible to let go of her feelings and join him for the ultimate con? B. A. Shapiro creates a world of mystery, romance and obsession that's sure to please readers and art history lovers.
  • Siobhan
    This is my first B.A. Shapiro novel and it did not disappoint. The novel takes place throughout the twenties, switching point of views and going between first and third person depending on the narrator. If you are into impressionist artists, the roaring twenties and some mystery/con artists, you will enjoy this book! It was slow to start but once everyone is introduced, the plot starts to pick up. Paulien grows from an innocent teen into a woman ...
  • Jennifer
    I liked this book a lot. Love Shapiro and her representations of art. Sometimes I wish there were photographs to show the paintings she describes. I loved Vivienne and her courage to start a new life and be her own woman, learning a new trade and having an important job. I didn't love the back and forth with the court case, but I did like the ending a lot. Quick and satisfying.
  • Tina Panik
    Shapiro has done it again: art, intrigue, mystery, and betrayal, all rolled into one!This was an ARC from Book Expo NYC.
  • Lisa
    Paulien Mertens, a young woman from a distinguished family, finds herself alone and penniless in Paris 1922. Her fiancé bilked her family and friends out of millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme and believing she played a part in the deception her family disinherits her. Although innocent of any duplicity, she must rebuild her life by reinventing herself with a new name Vivienne Gregsby. She meets a wealthy art collector named Edwin Bradley from...
  • Alissa
    A rich mystery with a historical setting and an unreliable narrator. The story shifts between the first meeting of Vivienne and Edwin and also the tale of the trial going on.
  • Chris Markley
    Paulien loves art and her dream is to share art with the world. After her world is shattered by her con man fiancee she has to reinvent herself and becomes Vivienne. As Vivienne she has the opportunity to reenter the art world as the adviser to wealthy collector Edwin Bradley. But when Bradley dies will Vivienne be able to survive? A story of art and love and betrayal that provides a fascinating glimpse into the art world of the early 20th centur...
  • Danielle
    This was a highly fictionalized book inspired by Albert Barnes who created the collection now housed by the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. It's 1922 and Paulien Mertens is on the run after her fiance is revealed to be the head of a Ponzi scheme that everyone believes she too had a hand in. She assumes the name Vivienne Gregsby and moves to Paris where she becomes connected to the art world rubbing elbows with people like Gertrude Stein and H...
  • Gail
    This book has something for everyone: art, murder (or not), skullduggery, Paris, Philadelphia, and more art. Taking place in the 1920’s, it’s easy to follow along the jumps in time. Recommended.
  • Lynn
    I think this book should be subtitled "Who's the Real Con Artist?"It's a delightful story about a man, who fleeces a French family and their friends out of all they possess using a pyramid scheme, and escapes with "suitcases full of money". He changes his identity and does it all over again. And again. Meantime, the daughter of the family has also reinvented herself and has a great job with an American billionaire art collector. Names change, loc...
  • Dottie Resnick
    Beautifully written book following a young Belgium woman in the 1920's. After being deceived by her fiancé, and her family and many others being conned by the same man, she moves to Paris to restart her life. After many menial jobs she is able to land a job as an interpreter, then assistant, then apprentice for a wealthy American art collector. She is welcomed into the Paris art scene, including Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse. She then moves t...
  • Caroline
    A great escape! And just when you think you know what will happen next, surprise. Discovered B.A. Shapiro a few years ago and absolutely love her books. Who knew the art world could be so thrilling!
  • Alice
    Wow, what a great book! I just love the Barnes, the old Barnes Museum in Marion. I had no idea that it was about that until I stated reading the book. This story and the characters kept me coming back- I think this the author's best yet (the Art Forger and the Muralist). Shifting time frames and characters reveal secret plots, deceptions, theft and multiple identities throughout several countries. Masterfully unfolding story lines reveal the auth...
  • Sherry
    4.5 starsIn 1922, after her family disowns her after because they were swindled by her fiancée, Paula Mertens ends up in Pariswhere she remakes herself, changes her name, lives a life among famous painters, and she gets a job helping Edwin Bradley buy expensive art for his museum.What happens is a tale of love, money, and vengeance and how far will someone go to get these?Once again BA Shapiro does not disappoint.
  • Ashley Smith
    Highly enjoyable, full review to come.
  • Tx_Madrone
    Thank you for the ARC @Ann_Collette. The Collector's Apprentice by @bashapiro was the perfect choice to take along on my vacation. As the fictional characters weave their story through a cast of historical figures & events, there is genuine suspense. Nothing and no one is quite what it seems.
  • Jamckean
    I loved Shapiro’s THE ART FORGER and THE MURALIST, so I was thrilled to get my hands on THE COLLECTOR’S APPRENTICE. Just like her previous novels, it is a perfect blend of art, history, scandal and suspense. A thoroughly enjoyable read!
  • Pamela Barrett
    First love, so full of happiness and promise for the future, but for 19 year old Paulien Mertens who has to runaway from her home in Brussels, and is now hiding in Paris, all she is left with is heartbreak and a tiny hope that her fiancé didn’t deliberately take her family fortune and destroy their future together.In Paris, Paulien re-invents herself as Vivienne, and she falls back on the one thing she loves; Art. From the time she was a child...
  • Lynn Gardner
    Why is everything that Shapiro writes so dang good?? I’ve enjoyed her two previous novels that I read (The Art Forger and The Muralist), and this one was also a fantastic read.Paulien moves to Paris with one thing on her mind - laying low until everyone stops hating her. Her fiancé George got her family and friends into some financial trouble, and she’s waiting patiently for him to sort it out so they can carry on with their lives. She quick...
  • Sharon
    I enjoyed the Art Forger so much and was looking forward to Shapiro’s latest work and perhaps it my level of expectation that jaded me, but whereas I was sympathetic to the forger in her first book, I found no likable characters in this one. Vivienne’s rich parents were more in love with their money and lifestyle than their daughter, and when she needed them, they cast her out. Vivienne goes into survival mode, developing her art appreciation...
  • Tara
    This is the story of Belgian young woman who has been a victim of a con man's swindle that has devastated her family and the others in their social network. As a result of the con, of which her family believed that she was a part, they have disowned her. Her childhood was remarkable for the close relationship with her father that had developed over their shared love of visual art. In Paris, she secures a position as a translator for a wealthy Ame...
  • Daniel Villines
    This is my second novel by Shapiro. The first, The Art Forger, was impressive. She used the magic of words to make paintings come alive so that they could be loved by the reader as they were loved by her main character; just as art has been loved by me from time-to-time. And while the novel was technically a mystery novel, this tired format took a backseat to the power and beauty of art.Almost in direct contrast with The Art Forger, The Collector...
  • Catherine at The Gilmore Guide to Books
    Before I share my thoughts on The Collector’s Apprentice, B.A. Shapiro’s new art world novel, I need to fess up that this books contains two big pieces of literary kryptonite for me. One is kind of obvious—the cover. I love the era of well-dressed, elegant women in pearls, even if I spend 95% of my days in what can only kindly be called athleisure wear (read: really old sweatpants and layers of knit tops). So, without knowing anything else ...