Review From User :
"The Improbability of Love", by Hannah Rothschild is not only the title of this Historical
Fiction novel, but it's one of the characters, narrating part of the story.
It's a famous masterpiece....a painting that 'has-a-history'. It's been around for centuries --
It's a very valuable - expensive- desirable- painting that has been lost....
then later found by 31 year old Annie McDee. She has come to London to work as a chef
while at the same time begin to mend her crushed heart from a broken love-relationship.
When Annie first discovers this painting, in a junkyard, other that thinking its beautiful,
she has no idea of its true value or its history or anything about the artist. Yet... she wants to buy it. She is sure her new painting will impress a lover...but things don't turn out that way.
Antoine Watteau, was the artist, a French painter. His influence on the art world, encompassing
costume, film, poetry, and music, was more extensive than almost any other 18th
century artist. He had many followers during his career, but also a lot of critics.
*Note: when I looked through images of Watteau's paintings...what stood out for me...
Besides being exceptionally beautiful, was that the majority of his paintings were done outside under trees, with groups of people. In some of the paintings the festive community looked
like they were celebrating with lavish clothes... dancing, listening, to music, or
simply socializing. The outdoors - the trees- with his group's of people could almost tell their
Hannah Rothschild's 'History-as-Storytelling', is visually imaginative, with a mesmerizing plot. The plot is gripping....with suspense...funny on the surface, but hidden below the surface is the actual more authentic emotions. Hannah paints (with her own dazzling writing brushstrokes), a very entertaining and moving look into the modern art world in London.
The Historical personalities are from all walks of life. There are the the wealthy Society types, politicians, scholars, a normal hard working plumber, .. and a vast of unique characters.... each dealing with their personal disunities. Satire-ish funny, yet... heartbreaking.
There is a flashback to the Holocaust which moved me - and reminded me of another novel
I read last year called "The Bridal Chair", by Gloria Goldreich. Both novels are historical fiction novels with the beauty and influence that ART is in our world.
The mother daughter relationship between Annie and her mother, (alcoholic), comes to life
through resentments - love- and personal growth. It was easy to imagine this relationship.
I couldn't help but remember the movie 91/2 weeks... ( remember those food scenes)...
Well, Annie is an artist with food. I was wanting Annie to use her talents ...( scrumptious cooking), as a weapon when she needed most. Against the villains. You know what they say...
"Love & Food finds a way to a man's heart... and possibly the villains expressing a little love!
Colorful real-life characters! Crafty- artful historical storytelling!
Many thanks for the gift to read this through "First-To-Read", Random House, and
the very gift author Hannah Rothschild.
(Historical Fiction > Funny)
Narrated by: Jilly Bond and Barnaby Edwards
A dazzling, witty and tenderly savage satire of London life and the art world that is also a surprising and wonderful love story.
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 âThe 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.