Move over Sophie Kinsella! Clear a path Lauren Weisberger! Jennifer Weiner just needs to go home! Let me introduce you to my new favorite person, Mia McMurry! In Danielle Ganek’s debut novel, Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him, she introduces the reader to the world of the gallery girl.
“They call us gallerinas. We’re generally considered a
loathsome breed, gallery receptionists. Aren’t we represented almost
universally as obnoxious, entitled, pretty girls in great clothes? Yes,
yes, stock characters in miniature art-world dramas, we’re pretentious creatures in intellectual fashion and high heels, dripping with attitude and sarcasm, rolling our eyes at visitors requesting something as mundane as the price list. God forbid you want to know where the bathroom is.”
Known for their condescending attitudes and general snobbery gallerinas have acquired quite a nasty reputation that Mia is determined to get rid of single-handedly simply through courtesy. She’s nice to all of the artists, dealers, and collectors who shove their way through the hard-to-open doors of the Simon Pryce Gallery in New York’s Chelsea art scene.
One artist in particular has her smitten (in a sweet kind of way, Mia has sworn off dating any artists or members of their entourage) at the moment and he DEFINITELY doesn’t fit the mold of hot emerging artist. Quite the opposite, Jeffrey Finelli is a short round fifty-eight year old man missing one arm. The night of his very first opening, the pinnacle of his career, the unexpected happens and Jeffrey is struck by a cab and killed. Instantly the popular opinion on his artwork goes from ho-hum effort to ultra in-demand must have and this is most especially true of his masterpiece painting entitled Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him, a figurative painting of his niece as a young girl.
As demand heats up for the titular painting, a buffoonish competition erupts between greedy gallery owners, back stabbing collectors with more money than brains and Jeffrey’s niece Lulu who feels she should get the painting because her uncle promised it to her. Mia is torn between loyalty to her eccentric boss, the affection of a new friendship with Lulu, and the possibility of love from an unexpected (and unwelcome) direction. Mia’s in trouble alright, but she finds that years of social training in New York’s Chelsea art scene have toughened her in unexpected ways and she just may be able to come out ahead of the game.