The portrait of a mirror : a novel

by Joukovsky, A. Natasha,

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: Available at 5 Libraries 5 of 6 copies
Available (5)
Location Collection Call #
Crafton Public Library Adult - Fiction F JOUKSOVS 2021 CRAFTON 06/21
Location  Crafton Public Library
Collection  Adult - Fiction
Call Number  F JOUKSOVS 2021 CRAFTON 06/21
Jefferson Hills Public Library Fiction FIC JOU
Location  Jefferson Hills Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC JOU
Moon Township Public Library Fiction F JOUKOVSKY Natasha
Location  Moon Township Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  F JOUKOVSKY Natasha
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Fiction JOUKSOVSKY A.
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  JOUKSOVSKY A.
Upper St. Clair Township Library Fiction FICTION JOUKSOVSKY A. Natasha
Location  Upper St. Clair Township Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FICTION JOUKSOVSKY A. Natasha
Unavailable (1)
Location Collection Status
Wilkinsburg Public Library Fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Wilkinsburg Public Library
Collection  Fiction

Wes and Diana are the kind of privileged, well-educated, self-involved New Yorkers you may not want to like but can't help wanting to like you. With his boyish good looks, blue-blood pedigree, and the recent tidy valuation of his tech startup, Wes would have made any woman weak in the knees-any woman, that is, except perhaps his wife. Brilliant to the point of cunning, Diana possesses her own arsenal of charms, handily deployed against Wes in their constant wars of will and rhetorical sparring.

Vivien and Dale live in Philadelphia, but with ties to the same prep schools and management consulting firms as Wes and Diana, they're of the same ilk. With a wedding date on the horizon and carefully curated life of coupledom, Vivien and Dale make a picture-perfect pair on Instagram. But when Vivien becomes a visiting curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art just as Diana is starting a new consulting project in Philadelphia, the two couples' lives cross and tangle. It's the summer of 2015 and they're all enraptured by one another and too engulfed in desire to know what they want-despite knowing just how to act.

In this wickedly fun debut, A. Natasha Joukovsky crafts an absorbing portrait of modern romance, rousing real sympathy for these flawed characters even as she skewers them. Shrewdly observed, whip-smart, and shot through with wit and good humor, The Portrait of a Mirror is a piercing exploration of narcissism, desire, self-delusion, and the great mythology of love.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Privilege can be difficult to perceive in oneself. For a group of charming, intelligent, cultured, beautiful characters jetting between Manhattan, Paris, and other refined destinations, privilege has become so entrenched in their worldview it rarely deserves a second thought. But Joukovsky's debut reminds readers that privilege doesn't keep you safe from malaise, from boredom, from realizing that you might actually hate your spouse. Highlighting the rarefied air of tech startups, management consulting, visiting curatorships, and Connecticut private schools, Joukovsky follows four individuals through a modern retelling of the Narcissus myth. Diana and Wes have been married for some time, and Dale and Vivien are planning their wedding. When a series of chance meetings, work assignments, and an old boarding-school crush come to light, the four have to decide whether to break their partners' hearts or to let theirs be broken. Joukovsky's prose, like the best parts of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom or Donna Tartt's The Secret History, demands the reader's fullest attention. Clever and witty and intricate, Joukovsky's voice emphasizes her characters' best features, like candlelight in a luxurious hotel bar. Fans of Cristina Alger's The Darlings or the show Succession will devour this richly-layered portrait of two couples caught at a crossroads."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Set in the upper echelons of New York City and Philadelphia, Joukovsky's droll if uneven debut reads like Gossip Girl all grown up. Young tech CEO and certified "golden boy" Charles Wesley Range IV shares a sprawling Manhattan loft with his stunning, quick-witted enterprise architect wife, Diana Whalen, where the almost-happy newlyweds mount a series of passive-aggressive maneuvers against one another. Meanwhile, 30-something Vivien Floris, a poised visiting curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, prepares to marry Dale McBride, a dashing consultant and aspiring novelist who lives in Philadelphia. While Diana and Dale are assigned to work on the same project, grade school crushes Vivien and Wes reunite for a fateful night. As the drama unfolds, the characters' affairs get predictably tangled. The author uses the backdrop of Vivien's exhibition on Ovid's Metamorphosis and the figure of Narcissus for astute observations on the core characters' self-involvement, though the story feels weighed down by too many less-rewarding tangents about professional mishaps and exchanges between the peripheral players, who find their incestuous social world alternately beneficial and stultifying. In the words of a mutual friend of the couples, "The one percent is such a small place." While readers will enjoy the view of an insular, rarified world, they'll also wonder what the fuss is about. Agent: Sarah Fuentes, Fletcher and Co. (June)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Man-woman relationships -- Fiction.
Divorce -- Fiction.
Social classes -- Fiction.
Satire -- Fiction.
Pennsylvania -- Fiction.
Humorous fiction.
Romance fiction.
Publisher New York, New York :The Overlook Press,2021
Language English
Description 312 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
ISBN 9781419752162
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