Alena Pastan's third novel casts Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca in the idiosyncratic world of contemporary art. Instead of a naive second wife, our unnamed narrator… Alena Pastan's third novel casts Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca in the idiosyncratic world of contemporary art. Instead of a naive second wife, our unnamed narrator… 2014-01-23 Fiction Riverhead Hardcover
Book Review

Alena (2014)

ALENA Rachel Pastan
ALENA Rachel Pastan
EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Jan 23, 2014; Writer: Rachel Pastan; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover

Pastan's third novel casts Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca in the idiosyncratic world of contemporary art. Instead of a naive second wife, our unnamed narrator is a young curator at an avant-garde museum on Cape Cod who competes obsessively against the memory of the previous curator, Alena, who maintains a mysterious hold over the place even after her presumed death. Like a good reproduction, Alena preserves important trademarks of the original art — creepy and claustrophobic — but doesn't feel quite inspired enough to stand on its own. B

Originally posted Jan 22, 2014 Published in issue #1296-1297 Jan 31, 2014 Order article reprints
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