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Alena: A Novel
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Published:
Penguin Publishing Group 2014
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Available from OverDrive
Description
In an inspired restaging of Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca, a young curator finds herself haunted by the legacy of her predecessor.Two years have passed since the tragic death of Alena, curator at the Nauk, a cutting-edge art museum on Cape Cod. At the Venice Biennale, Bernard Augustin, the Nauk's wealthy, enigmatic founder—to whom Alena had been closest confidante and muse—offers the position to an aspiring young curator from the Midwest. It's the job of her dreams, and she dives at the chance.Just as quickly, she finds herself well out of her depth. The Nauk echoes with phantoms of the past—a past obsessively preserved by the museum's staff—and the newcomer's every move mires her more deeply in artistic, erotic, and emotional entanglements. When recently discovered evidence calls into question the circumstances of Alena's death, shattering secrets surface, putting to the test the loyalty, integrity, and courage of our heroine—who remains nameless, like the heroine of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, the inspiration for this provocative and spellbinding tale.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/23/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780698141605
ASIN:
B00DMCVZNE
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Rachel Pastan. (2014). Alena: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Rachel Pastan. 2014. Alena: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Rachel Pastan, Alena: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Rachel Pastan. Alena: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group, 2014. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:31:13
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:47:15
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Apr 19, 2021 20:11:20
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title
Alena
fullDescription
In an inspired restaging of Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca, a young curator finds herself haunted by the legacy of her predecessor.
Two years have passed since the tragic death of Alena, curator at the Nauk, a cutting-edge art museum on Cape Cod. At the Venice Biennale, Bernard Augustin, the Nauk's wealthy, enigmatic founder—to whom Alena had been closest confidante and muse—offers the position to an aspiring young curator from the Midwest. It's the job of her dreams, and she dives at the chance.
Just as quickly, she finds herself well out of her depth. The Nauk echoes with phantoms of the past—a past obsessively preserved by the museum's staff—and the newcomer's every move mires her more deeply in artistic, erotic, and emotional entanglements. When recently discovered evidence calls into question the circumstances of Alena's death, shattering secrets surface, putting to the test the loyalty, integrity, and courage of our heroine—who remains nameless, like the heroine of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, the inspiration for this provocative and spellbinding tale.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 28, 2013
        Hitchcockian suspense infiltrates the cloistered contemporary art scene in Pastan’s (Lady of the Snakes) riveting third novel. On her first trip to the Venice Biennale, the unnamed narrator, a naïve young curator, is taken under the wing of a wealthy, well-bred man named Bernard Augustin, who offers her the job of a lifetime at the Nauquasset, his jewel-box museum on Cape Cod, Mass. She seizes the opportunity, but not without some hesitation: all she knows about “the Nauk,” as it’s called, is that its previous curator, an enigmatic Russian beauty named Alena, disappeared two years ago under mysterious circumstances, and that her disappearance broke Bernard’s heart. Like the heroine of du Maurier’s Rebecca, Pastan’s unnamed protagonist finds herself competing futilely with a ghost. But Pastan refreshes the formula with a new soundtrack: the relentless, haunting roar of the sea—the perfect embodiment of the way Alena’s name echoes throughout the offices and galleries of the Nauk. Upon glimpsing the Atlantic, she says of it: “A pause, and then the beast drew another breath. A restless, endless, living sound. For a moment, as it filled my ears with its slow panting, I knew I had made a terrible mistake.” Flush with erotic intrigues and insights into real, working artists, Pastan has written a smart, chilling thriller that leaves readers thoroughly spooked.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 1, 2013
        This gentle homage to du Maurier's Rebecca teleports the story from a gloomy English mansion to an avant-garde Cape Cod art gallery. Pastan's first-person narrator (as in Rebecca, never named) is a young, penniless art history graduate from the Midwest. In Venice, where she is serving as factotum to overbearing art maven Louise, the narrator meets wealthy Bernard Augustin, who owns a storied gallery called Nauquasset on Cape Cod. As in Rebecca, the narrator escapes her thankless job by following Bernard home but as his new head curator, not his wife. (Bernard is gay.) Once at Nauquasset, the narrator finds she has some capacious shoes to fill: Bernard's best friend and former curator, Alena, disappeared one night while swimming, but the entire gallery staff seems to be still in her thrall. Like the passive aggressive servants at du Maurier's Manderley, headed by the forbidding Mrs. Danvers, Nauquasset's team undermines their new boss at every turn, and Mrs. Danvers' doppelganger, Agnes the bookkeeper, treats her with undisguised contempt. Bernard is mostly absent on various business trips as the narrator struggles to establish her authority by launching a new show of shell sculptures by aptly named Cape Cod artist Celia Cowry. Here, she commits her first error: Not only were Bernard and his employees rooting for a transgressive installation by a wounded Gulf War vet, but Celia, at first grateful to be recognized after years of obscurity, is proving to be impossibly high-maintenance. Love interest is provided by hard-bitten local police chief Chris Passoa, who is investigating Alena's disappearance. Although offering a wry, perceptive commentary on the contemporary art world, the novel lacks the creeping sense of dread pervading du Maurier's classic. Nor does the narrator's relationship with Bernard raise the dramatic stakes, not merely due to the fact that a curatorship is inherently less fraught than a marriage, but since Bernard, after launching the action, disappears from it almost as completely as Alena herself. However, unlike Alena, Bernard, when gone, is easily forgotten. A technically able but rather tepid reimagining of the gothic staple Rebecca.

        COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        December 15, 2013
        Last night I dreamed of Nauquasset again. Fans of Daphne du Maurier's timeless Rebecca will revel in this contemporary homage to her gothic masterpiece. Though updating the charactersthe Max de Winter stand-in is gay; and the modern Mrs. Danvers, a business managerand the setting, the narrative's excruciating tension hovering beneath the surface remains the same. When the unnamed narrator, a naive young art historian and lowly museum assistant, is offered a position as the curator of a trendy Cape Cod museum, she jumps at the chance. However, all is not as golden as it initially seems at the Nauquasset (the Nauk). Bernard Augustin, the museum's brooding owner, and the rest of the employees seem to be mired in the past, as the memory of Alena, the previous curator, who vanished more than two years ago, still holds sway over the Nauk and its staff. Trying to exert her own authority and creative vision amid an ongoing investigation into Alena's mysterious disappearance, she is thwarted at every turn by the phantom presence of her predecessor.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
In an inspired restaging of Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca, a young curator finds herself haunted by the legacy of her predecessor.
Two years have passed since the tragic death of Alena, curator at the Nauk, a cutting-edge art museum on Cape Cod. At the Venice Biennale, Bernard Augustin, the Nauk's wealthy, enigmatic founder—to whom Alena had been closest confidante and muse—offers the position to an aspiring young curator from the Midwest. It's the job of her dreams, and she dives at the chance.
Just as quickly, she finds herself well out of her depth. The Nauk echoes with phantoms of the past—a past obsessively preserved by the museum's staff—and the newcomer's every move mires her more deeply in artistic, erotic, and emotional entanglements. When recently discovered evidence calls into question the circumstances of Alena's death, shattering secrets surface, putting to the test the loyalty, integrity, and courage of our...
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publisher
Penguin Publishing Group