Thursday, May 28, 2020

Poor Becky Farwell.  Growing up in a small farming town with a widowed father with a failing farm equipment business, there was never any question that she could attend college, despite her amazing talent for numbers.  She quickly gets a job in the accounting department for the city of Pierson, IL, and notices that "the way things have always been done" is sloppy and inefficient.  Worse, when she tries to bring mistakes to the attention of her superiors, she's treated with contempt and told not to make waves.  It's no wonder that The Talented Miss Farwell soon begins to take advantage of the lack of oversight and the slap-dash ways of the office to create a little secret slush fund of money that no one misses.
With an elderly, ailing father, a family business to keep afloat, no time for dating, and a job where she's unappreciated, is it any wonder she needs a hobby?  This soon manifests itself in a newly discovered love of art.  Soon Becky is attending art auctions and using her secret account to buy paintings, which she then re-sells at a profit.  For a while, she repays the money she "borrows" but soon her addiction leads her to purchase more expensive pieces.

Once she grows tired of the nearby art scene in Chicago, she decides to head to where the real action is: New York City.  Among her artsy friends, she's Reba:  sophisticated, always expensively dressed, and knowledgeable about all aspects of the art business.  To the people of Pierson, she's Becky: dependable, boring, and highly efficient at her job.  She's known for being able to "magically find money" when the town needs something repaired.  At the same time, due to the poor economy, the town is in a financial hole (not helped by Becky's skimming).  How long until her Activity (as she calls her new venture) is discovered?

I enjoyed reading about how Becky got more and more reckless with her embezzling and the lengths she had to go to in order to cover up her deception.  The element of danger was alluring, as was the opportunity to escape her drab daily life to be a high-flyer in the art world.  Her uncanny eye for spotting valuable bargains should have enabled her to keep both her Activity and the town of Pierson afloat, but her need to continually chase the next great artwork meant she could never be satisfied.  

I received an Advance Reader's Edition of The Talented Miss Farwell from the publisher in exchange for this review.


About Me

My photo
I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

I'm waiting! My library holds

Header by:


My LibraryThing Library

The Gherkin Scale

5gherkinsb Brilliant!

4gherkinsb Good, innit?

3gherkinsb Fair to middlin'

2gherkinsb Has some good points

1gherkin Oi! Wot you playin' at?

0gherkins3Don't be givin' me evils!

Blog Archive

Popular Posts