If I had a desert island book list, this arty romance would have to be on it. For me, If Andy Warhol had a Girlfriend by Alison Pace, hits all my sweet spots. The settings are fabulous; taking the reader from New York, to London, Rome and Chicago. The character, Jane, (but not Jane Austen) is struggling to keep under the radar with her ridiculous boss named Dick, who runs one of the most respected contemporary art galleries in the city. I empathized immediately with the “creative underling with mean boss,” syndrome, having had that one myself.
Jane Laine is at that spot in her life where she has found her boyfriend cheating on her, and new dates with other guys have been cringe-worthy. So when Jane is ordered by her boss to travel with a sculptor to all the european art fairs, even though he is a sculptor whose work she doesn’t understand, she is secretly relieved that she won’t in the office or in New York anymore.
Not only is he a popular and fashionable artist, Ian Rhys-Fitzsimmons is unfailing nice to Jane. Away from New York, she learns to listen to herself, to understand Ian’s sculptures and she finally learns that she is on the trip because he has requested it. It takes quite a bit longer for her to learn just how much she has come to rely on him.
There are quotes from Andy Warhol at the beginning of every chapter. There are British accents. But the best part for me as a writer, is the a little section where the characters talk about believing in yourself as a creative person. And that lesson is what the book hangs the rest of its lovely story on.