I had two reasons for choosing this book:
1. It is set in Vancouver, and
2. Somehow the synopsis and glowing reviews described this book as something that might be worthwhile. So many reviewers seemed to have been "profoundly" moved by this story.
After about 20% of reading what seemed to be either tepid romance or - worse - pretentious NA, I had to double-check the book description....but yes, this really was described as follows:
"The God of My Art paints a portrait of the artist as a young woman. Years after running away from home, gifted Helene must wrestle with her childhood if she wants to discover her true calling. She finds a muse in philosophical Matthew, who makes her past feel so far away.... but is it?
Matthew dreams of escaping the mundane by becoming a humanitarian worker in a war zone, but for now he is fond of quoting Nietzsche when he's not off climbing mountains. As Helene's growing infatuation with him unfolds, so does the true nature of her hero worship.
Bold and poetic, The God of My Art explores unrequited love as the source of inspiration for art."
I'm not a fan of Joyce but I have read The Artist as a Young Man, which clearly puts me at a disadvantage because I automatically expected more - from the book and from the poor soul who wrote the book description and clearly only made reference to a book title he or she may have overheard somewhere but has never read. If indeed, they realised it was a book, not just a phrase.
As for the "philosophical Matthew" who likes to quote Nietzsche, Matthew is introduced with the following quote:
"Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the warrior."
Oh, and it takes only a few pages to establish, that yes, he is an idiot with the depth of a bath mat. The level of his philosophical profundity does not stretch much beyond the following:
“The name of this neighbourhood— Mount Pleasant— is an oxymoron ,” he says, hailing a passing cab."
Or maybe this is an example of the boldness and poetry that is meant to fill The God of My Art?