Now Out In Paperback
Longreads says: "Sometimes a book that is wonderful and well-told and riveting is overlooked. I believe this is the case with Rachel Pastan's Alena."
Literary New England calls Alena "an ideal book to enjoy outside on a park bench, at the beach or under the hugging branches of an oak or willow tree."
In an inspired restaging of Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca, a young curator finds herself haunted by the legacy of her predecessor.
It's been two years since the tragic death of Alena, curator at the Nauk, a cutting-edge art museum on Cape Cod. At the Venice Biennale, Bernard Augustin, the Nauk's wealthy, enigmatic founder—to whom Alena had been childhood friend and muse—offers the position to an aspiring young curator from the Midwest. It's the job of her dreams, and she dives at the chance.
Just as quickly, she finds herself well out of her depth. The Nauk echoes with phantoms of the past—a past obsessively preserved by the museum's staff—and the newcomer's every move mires her more deeply in artistic, erotic, and emotional entanglements. When new evidence calls into question the circumstances of Alena's death, shattering secrets surface, putting to the test the loyalty, integrity, and courage of our heroine—who remains nameless, like the heroine of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, the inspiration for this provocative and spellbinding tale.
Profile: Philadelphia Inquirer
Rachel reading and being interviewed
Hear Rachel read from Alena at The Author's Corner.
Listen to Rachel's interview with Cindy Wolfe Boynton on The Literary New England Radio Show.
Read Rachel's Q&A with The Artist and the Librarian.