The Friday Night Club: A Novel of Artist Hilma af Klint and Her Creative Circle

Books on Tape. May 2023. 8:17 hrs. ISBN 9780593675762. $76. F
This novel reimagining the life and relationships of early 20th-century artist Hilma af Klint—a story that centers on women’s creative collaboration—is fittingly written by three women and performed by three narrators. Lundberg (A Question Mark Is Half a Heart), Alyson Richman (The Secret of Clouds), and M.J. Rose (Cartier’s Hope) team up to explore the creation of De Fem, or the Five, a real-life group of women artists who met on Friday evenings and engaged in séances. Af Klint believed that spirits guided her work, and that the séances helped her push past traditional boundaries and achieve greater levels of creativity. The tale of af Klint’s accomplishments is interwoven with a present-day storyline detailing the work of Guggenheim curator Eben Elliot, who discovers af Klint’s paintings and delves into her remarkable history. Despite the ensemble approach to writing, the dual timelines flow smoothly, allowing listeners to imagine the women’s weekly gatherings. Veteran narrators Tavia Gilbert and Pete Cross are joined by author Richman; all provide immersive performances and outstanding character portraits.
VERDICT Historical fiction readers will be delighted by this deftly narrated production, which offers an intriguing picture of a talented artist and her lasting legacy.
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