The Improbability of Love, Hannah Rothschild
Hannah Rothschild

The Improbability of Love

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544 printed pages
Annie McDee, alone after the disintegration of her long-term relationship and trapped in a dead-end job, is searching for a present for her unsuitable lover in a neglected second-hand shop. Within the jumble of junk and tack, a grimy painting catches her eye. Leaving the store with the picture after spending her meagre savings, she prepares an elaborate dinner for two, only to be stood up, the gift gathering dust on her mantelpiece. But every painting has a story – and if it could speak, what would it tell us?For Annie has stumbled across 'The Improbability of Love', a lost masterpiece by Antoine Watteau, one of the most influential French painters of the eighteenth century. Soon Annie is drawn unwillingly into the art world, and finds herself pursued by a host of interested parties that would do anything to possess her picture. For an exiled Russian oligarch, an avaricious Sheika, a desperate auctioneer, an unscrupulous dealer and several others, the painting symbolises their greatest hopes and fears. In her search for the painting's true identity, Annie will uncover the darkest secrets of European history – and in doing so, she will learn more about herself, opening up to the possibility of falling in love again. Irreverent, witty and sharply sweet, The Improbability of Love explores the confusion and turmoil of life and the complexities of love, loss and hurt – revealing the lows to which human nature can stoop and the heights to which the soul can soar.
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Sanny You
Sanny Youshared an impression4 months ago

Too much waffling, too little plot. The writing is fine but comes across as trying too hard to be witty or to squeeze too much and to tell every knowledge or story or frills or all of the above.


She was devastated that her younger self had lacked the foresight or wisdom to anticipate any of these outcomes.
She had that terrible modern habit of letting words tumble over each other in the race to finish a sentence.

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