Paint It Black.

Position:Book review

*** 1/2 Paint It Black By Janet Fitch

Los Angeles, 1980s style.

Josie Tyrell, abused and neglected as a child in Bakersfield, California, nonetheless kept her wits about her when she ran away to Los Angeles and joined the punk-rock scene. There she meets her exact opposite, Michael Faraday, a brilliant, 22-year-old Harvard dropout. Son of an acclaimed pianist and famous writer, Michael's tests the artistic waters himself and falls in love with Josie when she models for his art class. Despite Michael's mother's disapproval, Michael introduces Josie to his privileged world and they live together until he decides to end his life (revealed in Chapter 1). As Josie tries to understand Michael's death, she becomes entwined with his mother, Meredith--and starts to learn more about herself.

Little, Brown. 387 pages. $24.99. ISBN: 0316182745

San Diego Union-Tribune **** 1/2

"Fitch's fans should know that while the plot is very different, her new book returns to many of the same settings and themes she introduced in White Oleander, this time exploring them in an even deeper way.... Fitch demands more of her readers than many modern novelists, but she offers more in the way of reward." DEBRA GINSBERG

Los Angeles Times ****

"Part love story, part competition, part haunting, part possession, [Michael's and his mother's] bond is the stuff of psychologists' fantasies.... In Paint It Black, Janet Fitch has created a dark, crooked beauty that fulfills all the promise of White Oleander and confirms that she too is an artist of the very highest order."

Minneapolis Star Tribune ****

"With Fitch's typical aplomb, Paint It Black brings to life personal tragedy with the sort of bold, cinematic precision that her devotees have come to expect, re-creating the punk rock scene of 1980s Los Angeles so vividly that readers can almost smell the mosh-pit B.O.... Writing with the daring ferocity of a West Coast Mary Gaitskill, the sure-handed Fitch harnesses her truly triumphant entry onto the literary scene with this rich second novel." ANDREA HOAG

Rocky Mountain News ****

"Fitch creates amazing landscapes--from the view from Josie and Michael's apartment of the...

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