The Improbability of Love (Paperback)
  • The Improbability of Love (Paperback)
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The Improbability of Love (Paperback)

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£9.99 £8.99
Paperback 496 Pages / Published: 31/03/2016
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Waterstones Says

Set amidst the rarefied residences and shady hang-outs of the London art world, Rothschild’s sparklingly witty romantic crime caper crackles with energy and delirious escapism.     

When lovelorn Annie McDee stumbles across a dirty painting in a junk shop while looking for a present for an unsuitable man, she has no idea what she has discovered. Soon she finds herself drawn unwillingly into the tumultuous London art world, populated by exiled Russian oligarchs, avaricious Sheikas, desperate auctioneers and unscrupulous dealers, all scheming to get their hands on her painting - a lost eighteenth-century masterpiece called 'The Improbability of Love'.

Delving into the painting's past, Annie will uncover not just an illustrious list of former owners, but some of the darkest secrets of European history - and in doing so she might just learn to open up to the possibility of falling in love again.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408862476
Number of pages: 496
Weight: 341 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'A deliciously wicked satire ... It's exquisitely written, shimmering with eye-catching detail, whether describing works of art or the dishes on display at an extravagant banquet. Beneath all that, there's a serious debate about the value we put on things - whether it's art or relationships - and the prices we're prepared to pay. A masterpiece.' - Daily Mail 

'Novel of the week ... It all adds up to an ingenious meditation on the true value of art - timely indeed at a moment when paintings and sculpture seem to have become just another currency.' - Mail on Sunday

'Though this novel goes into the darkest of dark places, the overall tone is totally delicious; conspicuous consumption on this scale hasn't been seen since the Eighties.' - Kate Saunders, The Times 

'Part of the novel's charm is that its characters, rich or poor, are all a mixture of frailties. Like a Rococo painting, this clever, funny, beguiling and wholly humane romance is a treat worthy of its subject.' - Amanda Craig, Independent 

'This frothy confection works on many levels, combining a touching love story with an exciting whodunit sat in a hazardous, thrilling world. The story unfolds slowly at first, building up the tension until towards the end the chapters shorten and the pace quickens with staccato satire worthy of the pen of Evelyn Waugh. A real crowd pleaser.' - Daily Express 

'Hannah Rothschild is finally coming into her own. Soon to be head of the National Gallery, her novel about the art world is bound to be a bestseller -- Lynn Barber.' - Sunday Times 

'Her writing shows brain as well as a heart.' - Economist 

'The Improbability of Love is a romp, a joy, and an inspired feast of clever delights. Reading this book is like a raid on a high-end pastry shop - you marvel at the expertise and cunning of the creations, while never wanting the deliciousness to end * Elizabeth Gilbert *

Every page is a joy. It's funny, sad, profound. The writing dances. It has panache. It's beautifully structured. It wears its scholarship with a balletic lightness and grace that shadows the Rococo painting at its heart. Its many and varied characters are an exquisite joy. Her range and emotional grasp is wonderful. What more can I say? It's my Book of the Year already.' - Barbara Trapido 

'Impishly wicked, ruthlessly frank, touchingly percipient and sometimes laugh aloud funny to boot. Hannah Rothschild captures the contradiction between art as money and art as the soul of humanity really well.' - Rachel Campbell-Johnston, Art Critic for The Times 

'Both a satire of the art world and a romance ... It's mischievous, fun and on the money.' - Tatler

'A timely reflection on art's true value.' - Observer

'What a delightful read - a satirical look at the world of art with some love, mystery and comedy thrown in for good measure. There is a darker element to the plot which I won't spoil here, but it is tempered by a wonderful cast of characters and has the unusual addition of the painting as an occasional narrator. It's certainly a clever way of weaving the provenance of the painting into the story.' - Radio 2 Book Club

'Part detective story, part romance, the gripping narrative moves between contemporary London and Nazi Germany, examining along the way the meaning of love and loss, morality and greed, sacrifice and decadence ... the central theme of Nazi art theft is deftly handled. An excellent and very funny debut.' - The Lady

'Absorbing ... Rothschild cleverly has the painting itself tell part of the story and beautifully marshals a wealth of historical detail.' - Metro 

'A novel that is so pleasurable I've read it twice, and will read it again.' - Glasgow Sunday Herald 

'A bittersweet and highly enjoyable satire.' - Woman & Home 

'If you did not know much about the passion and power behind the doors of the great auction houses and art dealers, you will by the end of this enchanting tale ... Part well-crafted mystery, part thriller, part love story, Rothschild's The Improbability of Love takes its readers on a wonderful journey into a rarefied world usually only experienced by the wealthy few.' - Jewish Chronicle

'A capacious and fluently knowledgeable tale that excoriates with mischievously satirical intent the viciously competitive world of high-stakes art collecting ... Captivating ... Rothschild, the first woman to chair London's National Gallery, is a dazzling omniscient narrator giving voice to an irresistible cast of reprobates and heroes ... An opulently detailed, suspensefully plotted, shrewdly witty novel of decadence, crimes ordinary and genocidal, and improbable love.' - Booklist

'A frolicsome art-world caper ... Ms. Rothschild writes with such exuberance and spins such a propulsive yarn ... Her erudition - about restoration, authentication, art history in general - comes through on page after page, and it's one of the incidental pleasures of reading The Improbability of Love, as are her mouthwatering descriptions of the feasts Annie makes.' - New York Times 

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“An entertaining romp”

A poor, young woman finds a painting in a junk shop, which turns out to be a lost masterpiece of enormous value.
The premise of this book is simple but executed very entertainingly with many twists an turns and partly... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 81

“Another time, another world”

I bought this book after it was chosen by Elle as a great summer read and the Mail described it as 'A Masterpiece'. It is quite long and so I thought it would take some weeks to finish but I started it on a... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 69

“A Masterpiece to read about ... A Masterpiece to read!”

The cover did not appeal, it looked a bit light weight...
I wasn't going to read this, but then I heard people raving about it, so I could not longer resist it...
It was a fantastic read! Really couldn't put... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 66

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