BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex by Gabrielle Williams [in Shelf Awareness]

The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex opens with a real-life unsolved mystery: “On August 2, 1986, a group calling itself the Australian Cultural Terrorists stole one of the world’s most iconic paintings – Picasso’s Weeping Woman – off the walls of the National Gallery of Victoria.” The thieves were never apprehended – which provides Melbourne author Gabrielle Williams (Beatle Meets Destiny) the ideal premise for this rollicking what-could-have-been escapade.

The guy – his name really is Guy – has been deceiving his parents about his plummeting grades. Convinced failure is imminent, he hardly protests when friends pressure him into hosting a party while his parents are away. The girl – Rafi, originally from Mexico – leaves the toddler she’s supposed to be babysitting with her mother and goes to the party where she runs into Guy … literally. The toddler’s father – artist Luke – is impossibly talented, but also arrogant and irresponsible, which only makes him more irresistible to his ex, Penny, his son’s mother. Thrown into this salmagundi of titular characters is a motley supporting cast that includes a mourning mother, a drowned brother, an international con artist, an unsalable artist-turned-security-guard, and an equine apparition called La Llorona. One fateful night, the Weeping Woman will threaten life, limb and liberty of these unsuspecting many.

As Williams imagines the artful machinations of one of history’s greatest heists, she manages shrewdly to balance extremes – love and dismissal, nurturing and abuse, loyalty and betrayal – making her characters multi-dimensional, her fiction immediately convincing, and her novel one to remember.

Discover: A real-life art theft inspires Australian novelist Gabrielle Williams’s heart-thumping thriller about what might have happened between The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex.

Review: “Children & Young Adult,” Shelf Awareness, March 31, 2017

Readers: Young Adult

Published: 2017


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