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Dancing With the Tiger by Lili Wright

Saturday, August 27, 2016

When 30-year-old Anna Ramsey learns that a meth-addicted looter has dug up what might be the funerary mask of Montezuma, she books the next flight to Oaxaca. Determined to redeem her father, a discredited art collector, and to one-up her unfaithful fiancĂ©, a museum curator, Anna hurls herself headlong into Mexico’s underground art world. But others are chasing the treasure as well: the shape-shifting drug lord no one can really describe; the enigmatic American expat, who keeps his art collection locked in a chapel; the former museum director who traffics stolen works, and his housekeeper—deeply religious, a gay woman in a culture of machismo, dependent on a patron she loathes; the painter Salvador on his motorcycle, complex, sensual—but with secrets of his own. 
Anna soon realizes that everyone is masked—some literally, others metaphorically. Indeed, Dancing with the Tiger is a splendid reminder that throughout human history, cultures have revered masks: whether in the theater or in war, for religious purposes, or to conceal identity, masks are as universal as our desire to transform ourselves, to change. Anna, without an ounce of self-pity despite traumatic losses, stands out as a heroine for our times as, traveling alone, she finds the courage to show her true face.

Goodreads Summary

My favorite part about this book was that the author clearly did intensive research on Mexico and cultural art. I learned so much even though this is a fiction book! Anna Ramsey is a woman with something to prove. Wanting to bring more respect to her father's name and to show her cheating fiance what he lost, Anna follows a lead to Mexico. In Mexico, she discovers the seedy underbelly of the art world and many more secrets than she anticipated.

I enjoyed the author's writing style. The words had a flow-like quality to them and the book ended well after each chapter. I liked Anna's character. She was gutsy, intelligent, and pursued things as avidly as I would. I was a little annoyed when she was worried or panicked for so-so reasons. She came off as a little flighty or fluttery. I liked how the book was generally fast-paced. I do think that it might have been a better read if I had cared more about the characters.

3 1/2 Stars

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  1. I'd pick up a copy of this book for the awesome cover alone! Neat that you learned so much from a fiction novel!