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Spending

The fantasy is alluring: Feminist painter Monica Szabo hooks a handsome commodities broker willing to finance her career, be her lover, and model for paintings that make her famous. Unfortunately, Gordon’s latest novel is far-fetched, and her protagonist is a tedious narcissist. Although Monica and her boyfriend invert the traditional male-female painter/muse dynamic, this novel isn’t about art — it’s about having lots of money and lots of graphically described sex. Except for its feminist pretensions and art-historical references, Spending would sit nicely next to any Jackie Collins novel. C

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