Impossible Views of the World by Lucy Ives

Publication Date: August 1st, 2017
Publisher: Penguin Books

A witty, urbane, and sometimes shocking debut novel, set in a hallowed New York museum, in which a co-worker’s disappearance and a mysterious map change a life forever.

Stella Krakus, a curator at Manhattan’s renowned Central Museum of Art, is having the roughest week in approximately ever. Her soon-to-be ex-husband (the perfectly awful Whit Ghiscolmbe) is stalking her, a workplace romance with “a fascinating, hyper-rational narcissist” is in freefall, and a beloved colleague, Paul, has gone missing. Strange things are afoot: CeMArt’s current exhibit is sponsored by a Belgian multinational that wants to take over the world’s water supply, she unwittingly stars in a viral video that’s making the rounds, and her mother–the imperious, impossibly glamorous Caro–wants to have lunch. It’s almost more than she can overanalyze.

But the appearance of a mysterious map, depicting a 19th-century utopian settlement, sends Stella–a dogged expert in American graphics and fluidomanie (don’t ask)–on an all-consuming research mission. As she teases out the links between a haunting poem, several unusual novels, a counterfeiting scheme, and one of the museum’s colorful early benefactors, she discovers the unbearable secret that Paul’s been keeping, and charts a course out of the chaos of her own life.

Pulsing with neurotic humor and dagger-sharp prose, Impossible Views of the World is a dazzling debut novel about how to make it through your early thirties with your brain and heart intact.”


First, I would like to thank NetGalley, Penguin Books, and Lucy Ives for a free copy of this book before the publication date in exchange for an honest review.

Stella is a curator with a week from hell. To top it all off, her co-worker, Paul, goes missing. Finding a map makes her question everything about anything she knows. She deals with everything on her plate, while also finding out things about her co-worker Paul.

This book was not for me. I really, really struggled to get through this book. Even though it was a relatively short book, it took me some time to actually finish it. I wanted to like this book. The cover is beautiful and the synopsis definitely intrigued me. However, that’s about how far it got for me.

First, the writing style was too much for me. I can tell that Lucy Ives has the writing style of a poet. There were times where I had to reread because things were confusing for me. I never read poetry, therefore, it might be hard for another reader who is like me and never reads that kind of writing style.

Next, I felt like some of the writing was pretentious. It seemed like the character seemed like she was all high and mighty. I’m still trying to figure out if it was the narration, writing style, or the character, Stella, herself.

This book was classified as a mystery, and I agree that there were some parts that had mysterious accents, but not many. There were a few parts around 30% that grabbed my attention, but I felt like that might have been the only time. There were a few descriptions that this book had that wasn’t fulfilled.

I really wanted and tried to like this book. Unfortunately, the writing style made it hard for me to follow, along with the narration used. Towards the end, I was just reading to get to the end. Overall, I just couldn’t get into it. I wish I had liked it better, but it just wasn’t for me.

Rating: ★★

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