By Max Mitchell
CreateSpace, $12.99, 293 pages
Helen McTaggart is a cynical, atheistic, art-loving, sixth-grade teacher whose deep obsession with Salvador Dali drives her to share his paintings with her class. Ultimately, this turns into an accusation of being a sex-offender in her overtly religious small town in New Mexico. Helen dreams of meeting Dali and his muse Gala and often turns to him in her dreams for advice. She’s been planning a summer trip to Figueres, Spain to the Dali Museum with her girlfriend, Judy. However, Judy ceremoniously backs out at the last minute because of the accusations. Helen’s mom talks her into taking her cousin Tracy who is also a reclusive minor criminal. Once in Barcelona, Helen serendipitously meets Andre at the Dali museum and a true romance begins. She contemplates leaving her husband and her life in the States to stay with Andre and be close to where “the Dali” and Gala lived their inspired lives. She finds out Andre is an art thief and struggles with her love, the safety she feels with him, a job she was betrayed at, her criminal charges back home and her loveless marriage. Helen travels back and forth from New Mexico to Barcelona trying to decide where she wants to be, all the while running away from her troubles in both places.
Seeking Salvador is a surprisingly fun, page-turning ride. It has a wonderful balance of plausible, engaging dialogue and the descriptive beauty of fine art with the romance of Spain. It’s an enjoyable read but if nothing else, you might learn quite a bit about art history and even more about how to commit the perfect art racketeering crime!
Reviewed by M. Chris Johnson