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The Time Diaries narrates a pair of love stories separated by a century and an ocean, yet bound together by the power of fine art as a means for elevating the human condition.
The Time Diaries tells the parallel stories of Mary Cassatt, the renowned American Impressionist artist, and Judy Coker, a contemporary graduate student in Art History at the University of Chicago. In the novel, Judy wins a summer “Genius Award” that launches her on a global journey in search of a lost painting by Cassatt. She is accompanied on her quest by Noah Dearing, a fellow graduate student for whom she nurses a not-so-secret crush. For Judy, the adventure is fraught with trials and tribulations, particularly because of her devastating bout with Stendhal Syndrome, the psychological disorder that plunges her into a state of catatonia whenever she encounters the aesthetic power and beauty of art.
Meanwhile, Cassatt finds herself in a nearly lifelong struggle between her romantic feelings for Edgar Degas, Impressionism’s grand master, and her abiding belief in the importance of maintaining personal freedom in order to fulfill her destiny both as an artist and as a woman living in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Based on the true story of a Cassatt painting that has been lost to the ages, The Time Diaries celebrates love and art’s enduring capacity for both enriching and transforming our lives.