Sensationalized book not worthy of the artist

Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O'Keeffe - Dawn Tripp

I’ve always been fascinated with the work of Georgia O’Keeffe. Her huge, gorgeously colored flowers as well as her work with animal bones are truly amazing.  Many believe that her flowers are erotic though I’ve read that Ms. O’Keeffe consistently battled against this interpretation.  I am sure that her intent will be debated for years.  Regardless of her intent, because of that label of having created erotic art, when I saw this historical novel, I was afraid that the sex would the focus of the book.  I decided not to read it but then I received it in the mail with a letter from the publisher saying that I had won the book in a giveaway although I have no recollection of ever entering a giveaway for this book.  A couple of friends of mine was gushing over the book so I picked it up with a more open mind, hoping that Ms. O’Keeffe’s life would be accurately portrayed. 

 

I struggled with the first half of the book, several times wanting to give it up. If you enjoy reading about a man and a woman who are constantly grabbing at each other, then this is the book for you.  It was like a Harlequin romance where the author is looking for any excuse to insert sex into the page.  I understand that the author was trying to convey the passion between Georgia and Alfred Stieglitz; however, she went way overboard.  Passion can be written in such a sensual manner when crafted correctly.  Ms. Tripp’s description of the passion between these two comes across as crass and common.

 

The second half of the book improved since their relationship had cooled and Ms. O’Keeffe was branching out on her own. I found all the references to Ms. O’Keeffe’s paintings to be interesting but there really wasn’t anything new revealed about her life and work.  There are some worthy glimpses of Ms. O’Keeffe in this book but you have to look for them.  It’s mostly a book about the difficult relationship between O’Keeffe and Stieglitz.  It’s not a book I can recommend to anyone.

 

I won this book in a book giveaway.