The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex by Gabrielle Williams
It’s 1986 and Picasso’s famous painting ‘Weeping Woman’ has been stolen from the walls of the NGV. The people of Victoria are torn between being angry at the theft or bemused that the ‘kindergarten-like’ painting has been stolen and cracking jokes about getting a replacement done by pre-schoolers. But for Guy, Rafi, Luke and Penny, four people that as a collective don’t know each other from a bar of soap, the theft of the painting will bring them together, for some with life threatening consequences. Over the period that the painting is MIA an old curse will rear its ugly head, a party will threaten lives and love at first sight will come from a punch in the face.
Based on the infamous theft of Picasso’s ‘Weeping Woman’ from the NGV by a group called Australian Cultural Terrorists, Gabrielle Williams reminds me why I love reading. This brilliantly crafted novel keeps the reader enthralled the whole way through with creative twists and turns that had me going from anxious to amused in the space of a page. This clever novel shows why Australian writers are some of the best in the world at writing unique Young Adult fiction. Highly recommended for male and female readers aged 14 and up.
Katherine Dretzke is a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.