It's a novel about people and their relation to art: loving it, collecting it, selling it. In theory, art exists for beauty; but what if you own a painting that's beautiful and valuable? Maybe you could sell it to get some other beautiful things. And the meaning of "valuable" for art changes a lot—it's a bursty boom-and-bust market. So if you're a dealer, like this book's protagonist, it's a roller-coaster ride. The protagonist has to bring herself to switch between thinking of a work of art as something to be appreciated and thinking of it as something to be used. She also does this with people. The result's a somewhat soap-operatic story with asides about art.