it's very disappointing because i loved kostova's the historian so much.
this novel is all about paintings and artists and obsession stemming from mental illness. i didn't like the narrator (boring, didn't care about him in the least); i disliked the pivotal character (oblivious, selfish, self-destrictive); didn't care about the women involved with the pivotal character (insignificant in any way).
boring, tedious, wordy, a lot of pointless back-story . . . and all for an ending you could pull out of a write-your-own-novel workbook.
don't waste your time.