Sarah Sands

Barbara Amiel is a cross between Medusa and Maria Callas

The femme fatale, fiercely loyal to her husband, is venomous to her enemies while still appearing the tragic heroine

Barbara Amiel is loyal to her husband until hell freezes over. Credit: Photographed by Ted Belton, Toronto, September 2020

If this book becomes a Netflix blockbuster, as it surely must, Barbara Amiel presents us with an opening image. She describes, during a visit to see her husband Conrad Black in prison, watching a Monarch butterfly rise above roadside debris:

You couldn’t miss it in that bright early morning sunscape of trash cans and crumpled paper cups, so intense the colours and so large its wings as it did a parabola over a little triangular patch of wildflowers growing off to the side of the service area at Turkey State on Interstate 95.

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