In her quest for stolen art, she discovers a passion and a home.
A young woman of mixed parentage has lived in seven different countries, and thinks it’s time to find a place she could call home. She joins a quest for illuminated manuscripts stolen during World War II, hoping it would give her the sense of belonging she craves. But will it be enough? A tale inspired by the actual theft of medieval illuminated manuscripts.
Clarissa, an Asian/Caucasian young woman has lived in seven different countries and has no lasting connection to any place. She thinks it’s time to settle somewhere she could eventually call home. But where?
She decides to live in the city of her birth. There, she joins a quest for the provenance of stolen illuminated manuscripts—a medieval art form that languished with the fifteenth-century invention of the printing press—hoping it would give her the sense of belonging she craves. But will it be enough?
For her, these ancient manuscripts elicit cherished memories of children’s picture books her mother read to her, nourishing a passion for art.
The trail of the manuscripts leads to an American soldier who served in World War II. Clarissa is anxious to know what motivated him to steal and keep the artwork for fifty years. But instead of easy answers, she finds bigger questions.
Immersed in art, but naïve about life, she’s disheartened and disillusioned by the machinations the quest reveals of an esoteric, sometimes unscrupulous art world. What compels individuals to steal artworks, and conquerors to plunder them from the vanquished? Why do collectors buy artworks for hundreds of millions of dollars? Who decides the value of an art piece and how?
The Golden Manuscripts: A Novel is based on the actual theft of medieval manuscript illuminations during the second world war.