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The Improbability of Love: A novel by Hannah…
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The Improbability of Love: A novel

by Hannah Rothschild

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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book!
I like the multi-layers and thought the plot was original and captivating. I particularly liked that there was more than met the eye, possibly particularly when it came to Memling. This book made me want to read a lot of history books, go to art museums and it also made me hungry- so overall, it really spoke to many senses!! ( )
  Bookoholic73 | Nov 15, 2017 |
A number of people head for an art auction to bid on one particular painting which recently had been discovered and brought to light. As we meet each person we learn their different reasons for obtaining this piece of art, some nefarious. Eventually a dark history emerges having to do with the Nazis' desire to collect all of the world's best art.
Great story. Can be enjoyed even by non-art history majors. ( )
  mamzel | Oct 26, 2017 |
The book starts on the night of an auction, when a long-lost and recently rediscovered painting by famous artist Antoine Watteau is being sold. The prospective buyers are introduced to the reader, and it is clear that there is a huge buzz surrounding this painting.

Cut to six months earlier, when a young lady named Annie McDee, who has no idea whatsoever about art, is looking for a gift for her new boyfriend, and stumbles across a painting in a junk shop. She buys it but has no idea of the adventure that this painting will lead her to. It is also clear that there are others who would dearly love to get their hands on this painting for more nefarious reasons, and at least one person is desperate to get it in order to stop a dark secret being exposed – and he is prepared to go to any lengths to achieve his goal.

I bought this book more or less on a whim, and picked it up to read with not particularly high hopes. However, I have to say that I found it utterly delightful and I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. Annie is a great character for the story to hinge upon – she has no idea of the picture’s history and significance, so she discovers it at the same time as the reader does. She is a hugely likeable character and very easy to identify with. I also really liked Jesse, the young artist who helps her in discovering the history of the painting, while quite obviously falling for her at the same time.

There are a lot of other characters – if this book was turned into a film, it would need a large cast! – but skilful writing means that it never gets confusing. I also loved the fact that occasional chapters were even narrated by the painting itself – it sounds kooky and gimmicky, but somehow it works.

It’s a great story, imaginative, often funny and very sweet and intriguing – I highly recommend this book, and will definitely look out for more by this author. ( )
  Ruth72 | Jul 16, 2017 |
I liked the premise and liked the writing, but, oh, this book was work! Too many characters, too many subplots, too much going on. I wish the author who have pared down and honed in one just a few plot lines. ( )
  dcmr | Jul 4, 2017 |
Beginning with the night of the auction of the painting The Improbability of Love, a lost masterpiece from the 18th century, this novel then skips back six months to when the painting is first found by an amateur chef, Annie. It then tracks the lives of all those at the auction as well as Annie (with occasional interjections from the painting itself) up to the night of the auction as intrigues, romances, and mysteries arise.

I honestly don't remember how this one ended up on The List so I'm not sure what struck my fancy about it in the first place. The writing is well done, the characters are well-rounded and believable, and the exploration of the art world and how we value art is artfully done. And yet despite the fact that I can't find any flaws with the novel, this one wasn't quite a hit with me. It might just be that it took me longer than it normally would to finish a novel of this length that has brought down my rating on this one. If the description strikes your fancy I'd say give this one a whirl but I can't emphatically recommend it based on my reading experience. ( )
  MickyFine | Jun 3, 2017 |
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For Nell, Clemency and Rose
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It was going to be the sale of the century.
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Food, she decided, was like performance rather than fine art: it's power was in its transience and immediacy.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Annie McMorrow, 31 and not recovered from the end of her long-term relationship, is an assistant to film producer Carlo Spinetti and then to his chilling wife Rebecca Winkleman Spinetti whose father started Winkleman Fine Art in Curzon St. Annie has spent her meagre savings on a dusty painting from a junk shop to give to her new, unsuitable, boyfriend who never shows up for his birthday dinner. The painting now hers, talks, but only to us. Shrewd, spoiled, charming, world weary and cynical, he comments perceptively on Annie, and the modern world and tells tales about his previous owners: Louis XV, Voltaire, Catherine the Great among others. The story unfolds through this voice and many others--unexpected, entertaining, and strangely authentic. Annie will have her apartment ransacked and be pursued by dealers, buyers and an auctioneer in an attempt to get back the painting. With The Improbability of Love, Rothschild has spun a dazzling tale--both irreverant and entertainng--of a many-layered, devious world where, in the end, love triumphs"--… (more)

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