The Gallery of Lost Species: A Novel

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Though Edith’s older sister Vivienne has the full attention of their mother and head-turning beauty, all is not perfect in Vivienne’s life. She’s dragged to pageant after pageant by her mother, mostly against her will, and their relationship turns ugly quickly and stays unhappy and bitter as Vivienne grows up. Edith finds her own way as Vivienne’s life spins out of her control—first in a strange coin shop and later in a career at the National Gallery of Canada, where she befriends a man obsessed with cryptozoology. Still, despite her successes, she can’t escape Vivienne’s orbit. The man Edith loves has eyes only for Vivienne, a reality Edith can’t accept; and Vivienne’s downward spiral, now well beyond simple rebellion, leads her terrifyingly astray. Edith faces a heart-wrenching choice: let Vivienne go or pursue her at the expense of her own hard-earned happiness.

Though the metaphors Berkhout extends throughout the novel often seem stretched a bit thin, the relationship between the sisters is rendered movingly. The Gallery of Lost Species is a beautiful exploration of how a mother and her daughters seek redemption from one another–at great cost to all.


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Author Nina Berkhout
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Thomas Dunne Books
Publish Date 2016-05-31
ISBN 9781250085078
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2016
Category Modern Literature
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