Wabi sabi, a Japanese term for finding beauty in imperfection, perfectly describes Keith James, “the girl with the boys’ names.”
She arrives in Toronto from the Near Northside of Omaha to go to university, where she encounters two men who will echo through her life.
Like a piece of raku pottery amidst the porcelain, she is unusual and unexpected in the high-end auction houses and fine art galleries of Toronto and San Francisco.
Finding her way to success, she loses her way in love. However, through her tangled relationships with her mentor and one-time lover, a brilliant art historian of Haitian origins, and the handsome Jewish art dealer whom she marries, she ultimately discovers that art, like love, redeems and love, like beauty, is imperfect.
So reads the synopsis I wrote for the back of the book. It gives a fair summary, but Beautiful Imperfections is much more. It is not just a tale about the fight to succeed in the complicated and sometimes treacherous business dealings in the art world. It is about the art itself, those pieces of beauty that delight our eye, inspire us, and call us to become grander than we might have envisioned.
Art drives three talented but imperfect beings to self-actualization, changing their relationships to one another and to themselves.
Finally, Beautiful Imperfections is a love story, a love story in which art holds the key.