Woman on Fire
Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (2/28/2022)
MP3 CD (3/1/2022)
Library Binding, Large Print (8/10/2022)
Compact Disc (3/1/2022)
A New York Times Bestseller
Now with Sharon Stone signed on to produce and star in the movie
From the author of the award-winning Fugitive Colors and The Unbreakables, a gripping tale of a young, ambitious journalist embroiled in an international art scandal centered around a Nazi-looted masterpiece—forcing the ultimate showdown between passion and possession, lovers and liars, history and truth.
After talking her way into a job with Dan Mansfield, the leading investigative reporter in Chicago, rising young journalist Jules Roth is given an unusual—and very secret—assignment. Dan needs her to locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: legendary Expressionist artist Ernst Engel’s most famous work, Woman on Fire. World-renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum wants this portrait of a beautiful, mysterious woman for deeply personal reasons, and has enlisted Dan’s help to find it. But Jules doesn’t have much time; the famous designer is dying.
Meanwhile, in Europe, provocative and powerful Margaux de Laurent also searches for the painting. Heir to her art collector family’s millions, Margaux is a cunning gallerist who gets everything she wants. The only thing standing in her way is Jules. Yet the passionate and determined Jules has unexpected resources of her own, including Adam Baum, Ellis’s grandson. A recovering addict and brilliant artist in his own right, Adam was once in Margaux’s clutches. He knows how ruthless she is, and he’ll do anything to help Jules locate the painting before Margaux gets to it first.
A thrilling tale of secrets, love, and sacrifice that illuminates the destructive cruelty of war and greed and the triumphant power of beauty and love, Woman on Fire tells the story of a remarkable woman and an exquisite work of art that burns bright, moving through hands, hearts, and history.
Praise For Woman on Fire: A Novel…
"Barr’s vigorous prose complements her fully realized characters. Readers will be gripped from start to finish." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Woman on Fire is a sharp, propulsive page-turner that will keep readers in suspense." — Booklist
"An exuberant and propulsive thriller laced with sex, art, and history. Lisa Barr has created an unforgettable story that forces readers to question where the line should be drawn between the pursuit of justice and the hunt for revenge." — Alyson Richman, bestselling author of The Secret of Clouds
"Woman on Fire is an exquisite, fascinating read that hooks you with its intensity and captures your heart with emotional depth. A brilliant, seamless tale of art, atrocity, love, family, and courage, this stunning novel, both with the words and the paintings described on the pages, comes alive so vividly it's as if you are right there, seeing every remarkable moment with your own eyes. A truly astonishing novel that builds tension sentence by gorgeous sentence then crescendos to a scorching, utterly satisfying ending." — Samantha M. Bailey, USA Today and #1 national bestselling author of Woman on the Edge
“Incredibly fast-paced and savvy, Lisa Barr takes readers into the high stakes world of art theft through the eyes of a young, gutsy journalist. Thick with history, scandal, romance and deceit, Woman on Fire is a truly compulsive read.” — Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of Local Woman Missing
"Barr’s riveting dive into the dark side of the international art world, led by an intrepid young journalist, had me on the edge of my seat. A deliciously addictive page turner filled with twists and an unforgettable villain." — Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue
"Addictively propulsive and laced with rapid-fire twists and turns, this sizzling tale of deception, lust, Nazi-looted art, and murder crackles with tension and comes vividly, strikingly alive in Lisa Barr's skilled hands. Part thriller, part World War II epic, part journey through the pain of loss, Woman on Fire is as vibrant as the searing work of art it revolves around, with characters so richly drawn you'll feel as if you've known them--or, in some cases, been terrified by them--forever. Woman in Gold meets Spotlight meets Basic Instinct in this extraordinary novel, which is certain to be snapped up by Hollywood just as surely as it will be devoured in one sitting by captivated readers who can't turn the pages quickly enough. Woman on Fire is unforgettable." — Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars
“We’re in a golden age of female thriller-writers, and with her latest novel, Lisa Barr joins the ranks of must-read authors. Woman on Fire hits a fiction trifecta: historical depth, fast-paced intrigue, and a riveting heroine. Juxtaposing the transformative power of art with the dark side of human nature, WOMAN ON FIRE is the best kind of page-turner, one that makes you think and feel long after the final page is turned. I’m ready for more!” — Jamie Brenner, author of Blush and Gilt
Harper Paperbacks, 9780063040885, 416pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
About the Author
Lisa Barr has been an editor at The Jerusalem Post, Today’s Chicago Woman, and Moment magazine, and an editor/reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Among the highlights of her career, Lisa covered the famous “handshake” between the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and President Bill Clinton at the White House. Lisa is also the creator and editor of the popular parenting blog, GIRLilla Warfare. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Today, Fox & Friends, and Australia TV for her work as an author, journalist and blogger. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and three daughters (aka: Drama Central).
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. Woman on Fire is a showdown between two strong-willed women—Jules Roth, an ambitious young journalist and Margaux de Laurent, a brilliant albeit ruthless gallerist. Neither woman should be underestimated. Are they a good match, and why?
2. Jules pushes the envelope and is guilty of “cowboy antics” as she pursues her stories. Does she go too far to expose the truth, and are her bold efforts worth the risk?
3. Margaux is both cruel and deeply wounded—a lethal combination. Like Margaux—Jules, Ellis, Dan, Adam, and Lilian Dassel all wrestle with “inner demons.” How do each handle their painful pasts both positively and negatively?
4. Do Ellis and Margaux both have a legitimate claim to Woman on Fire – whose claim is stronger and why?
5. World War II ended nearly eight decades ago. Why has this period of history made such an impact on the literary world, and why is Nazi-looted art STILL front-page news?
6. Family ties are a key element in the book. Margaux is deemed a psychopath – evil and cold- blooded—except when it comes to her grandfather. Does this loving, loyal quality redeem her and perhaps change how you feel about her—especially in the end?
7. The fictional character Carl Geisler is inspired by real-life art collector Cornelius Gurlitt, son of Hitler’s “art thief” Hildebrand Gurlitt. Margaux believes she is justified to steal Geisler’s treasure trove of art, rationalizing that it is not a crime to rob the robber. Where should the line be drawn between the pursuit of justice and the hunt for revenge?
8. Woman on Fire is an exquisite example of Expressionist art. Expressionism is defined by how a painting makes you feel. How does this Expressionist masterwork impact each of the main characters—what emotions does the painting evoke and what actions does it inspire?
9. The novel is filled with empowered multigenerational female characters: Jules, Margaux, Elizabeth Roth, and Lilian Dassel. How does each woman use her “power” to impact the plot and affect the others while defining her own path?
10. Adam, Dan, and Ellis all wrestle with addiction, having camouflaged their dependence on drugs and/or alcohol while rising to the top of their respective fields—art, journalism, and fashion. How do secrets versus success play out in this novel?
11. Revenge is a powerful theme threading the novel. Each character grapples with it. Who takes vengeance too far at the expense of their own happiness, and why is that price tag worth it to them?
12. The artist Joan Miro once said: “You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.” Finding Woman on Fire becomes an obsession for Margaux and Ellis because of what it represents to each character—love and great loss. Have you ever been deeply affected by a work of art, and why?