All The Delicate Things We Make by Milena Mckay

What I loved most about ” All The Delicate Things We Make” by Milena Mckay is the mystery of the secret identity of one of the main characters : DeVor, the famous artist who influences the whole fashion industry with her paintings.

There are so many questions around the famous artist, that a great publishing company’s boss wants to disclose DeVor ’s identity, for all the selfish reasons of the fashion industry’s profits. However, DeVor’s identity could never be taken to light, even though many, more or less famous, have tried.

Jamie Walker was a promising investigation journalist working for Pose magazine, one of the most famous fashion magazines, having a boyfriend on the edge of success as a chef at one of the best restaurants in New York.

Yet, something abruptly changed when she stopped getting assignments from Pose and other magazines, her blog was not getting so many hits lately and she found herself obliged to take other jobs to sustain herself : bartendening at a pub, dogwalking and many more. On the top of all, her boyfriend threw her out of their rented apartment in the middle of the coldest of winters New York has ever seen.

She could barely sustain herself and she got some help from her friend Iris, who let her stay in the attic of the art gallery she was working for. The Art Gallery belongs to a certain Arrabella Archibald-Avant, a wealthy and glamorous New York socialite, a patron of the arts, who contributed a lot to the Manhattan art scene among the years.

One day, Jamie surprisingly gets a call from Benedict Stanley, the Editor-In-Chief of Pose magazine, who ocasionally threw her errands. Benedict offers her a one in a lifetime opportunity to be famous : she has to discover DeVor’s identity  and to write an article about the recluse artist in Pose magazine.

Jamie feels alive at last, with a real purpose and a brand new start. She is kind and lovable and through her kindness she made it before in New York, even though people thought it was strange in the wild jungle of the big town.

As Jamie always says: „beggars can’t be choosers” and she reluctantly gets to work. She doesn’t know much about art, but she learned a lot during her investigations and she finds herself lulled in DeVor’s world. However,  on her way to fame, she discovers more questions than answers and secrets that once out of the darkness they have been kept into, can and will turn her life upside down and not only hers.

Instead of wanting to disclose DeVor’s identity, Jamie finds herself attracted to Vivian, the woman behind the famous artist. She would rather date the woman, than disclose her identity. Through, funny situations and a big doggie love, Jamie finds her way in Vivian’s life. The „problem” is that Vivian is also attracted to Jamie and seeing that Vivian is opening up to her, Jamie is feeling guilty about her lie, the real reason she is around Vivian. Yet, that becomes secondary, because even though Jamie feels the burden of the lie weighing heavy, her consicence tells her otherwise and her falling deeper in love with Vivian, even more.

The story is told from Jamie’s point of view.

Jamie uncovers a deeply disturbing side of the publishing world.

Discovering that, she feels commited to tell the story even though the social justice revealing of the darkness of the media publishing world, but that could ruin her love for Vivian.

Who is DeVor?

Why is she keeping her identity a secret?

Why was Jamie chosen to write the article?

What has Arabella got to do with it?

Will Jamie choose to be a knight in shining armour or Vivian’s secret lover?

My favorite character remains Vivian. I absolutely adore her ice queen first impression, her looks, her attitude, her weaknesses, her fashion metaphors.

Than comes the melting of the ice queen, the duality of her desire, one for Jamie against all odds, one for the artist’s muse.  Of course, she is a snob, just like Miranda Priestly, but she is a contradiction of feelings, she can be strong, yet sometimes anxious, then she can be impatient, yet tender and then wild. She has been a recluse for so many years now and she sees in Jamie a little sunshine, a sparkle of the life she has lost and she so much wants it back. She is a different woman now, than she was in the past and she needs to see if she can overcome her past and see in Jamie’s courage, the strength she didn’t have all those years ago, to face the truth.

Vivian charcter is flawed, but it is also perfect in all those little ways. I love how her feelings are exposed through her little smile in the left corner of her mouth

 All these kind of little details make this book great.

I found this to be a great debut novel.

I loved the pace and the language, especially the fashion metaphors and the jokes behind them.

The storyline cannot be guessed, it is unique and perfectly written.

There are some clues, but the turning points are absolutely stunning and mindblowing and they cannot be guessed.

I enjoyed all the themes underlined in it : age gap lesbian romance, rich girl/poor girl love, muse of the artist, lgbt art scene, betrail, rape and #metoo movement

I loved the characters : Vivian/DeVor, Jamie, Arabella Archibald-Avant, Margo Dresden, Eugenia Mallan, Benedict  Stanley, Olivia.

I am an Arabella fan and I,also, enjoyed Olivia’s british accent.

I totally recommend this wonderful book.

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