The Hundred Waters

Grove. Aug. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780802159748. $26. F
Acampora follows up her award-winning The Paper Wasp and Wonder Garden with the story of wealthy and beautiful Louisa Rader, who runs a local arts center in Connecticut, and an environmentally aware young artist she befriends named Gabriel Steiger. Expelled from high school for painting a controversial mural reinterpreting The Last Supper with endangered animals and a U.S. president handing out hamburgers, Gabriel re-creates his version of a museum originally constructed by a 20th-century Viennese artist with the adopted name Friedensreich Hundertwasser (“hundred waters”) that featured a grass roof, trees coming through the windows, and a wavy floor to simulate the artist’s ventures around the world. The museum is housed in an outbuilding of Louisa’s Nearwater Arts Center, where—unbeknownst to Louisa—Gabriel included a steamy audio that has her scrambling to explain to her husband that it’s all for the sake of art.
VERDICT With a fluid writing style and a plot that moves along quickly, Acampora’s absorbing new work is an excellent choice for book discussion groups. Highly recommended.
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