“A girl, a painting, and a cast of delightfully quirky characters are at the heart of Rothschild's debut. At the intersection of London's art auction houses and the pursuit of a dream, Annie navigates her way through the city's wealthy and aspiring elite as she juggles her mother's eccentricities with her own quest to become a chef. Funny, smart, and satisfyingly clever, The Improbability of Love will warm your heart and give you pause the next time you admire that old painting hanging, so innocently, on the wall.”
— Lisa Baudoin, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, WI
Finalist for the Baileys Women's Prize
Annie McDee, thirty-one, lives in a shabby London flat, works as a chef, and is struggling to get by. Reeling from a sudden breakup, she’s taken on an unsuitable new lover and finds herself rummaging through a secondhand shop to buy him a birthday gift. A dusty, anonymous old painting catches her eye. After spending her meager savings on the artwork, Annie prepares an exquisite birthday dinner for two—only to be stood up.
The painting becomes hers, and Annie begins to suspect that it may be more valuable than she’d thought. Soon she finds herself pursued by parties who would do anything to possess her picture: an exiled Russian oligarch, an avaricious sheikha, an unscrupulous art dealer. In her search for the painting’s identity, Annie will unwittingly discover some of the darkest secrets of European history—and the possibility of falling in love again.
About the Author
Hannah Rothschild is the author of The Baroness: The Search for Nica, the Rebellious Rothschild. She is also a film director whose documentaries have appeared at such festivals as Telluride and Tribeca. She has written for British Vanity Fair, Vogue, The Independent, and The Spectator, and is vice president of the Hay Literary Festival, a trustee of the Tate Gallery, and the first woman chair of the National Gallery in London.
“[A] bright, champagne-fizzy satire of modern romance, human avarice, and the booming international art market.” —Entertainment Weekly
“A romp, a joy, and an inspired feast of clever delights.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
“Delightful. . . . A delicious and sometimes devastating satire of what the art world has become.” —The New Republic
“Impressive. . . . A treat for Anglophiles, Francophiles, art snobs, and skeptical romantics.” —Bustle
“Riveting. . . . With its colorful cast of characters and richly layered plot, The Improbability of Love is entertaining and suspenseful.” —USA Today
“A scintillating new novel.” —Harper’s Bazaar
“A propulsive yarn. . . . Makes an impassioned case for art — as a companion to the lonely, as a restorative to those in pain. . . . Beauty inspires both passion and violence; in The Improbability of Love, you get a generous helping of both.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Rothschild whets our appetite for art world intrigue.” —W
“[A] romp through the art world . . . [Rothschild] understands how great art humanises . . . her writing shows brain as well as a heart.” —The Economist
“Enormously readable. . . . Energetic, clever, sometimes funny, sometimes sad and serious . . . with a romance, at least one mystery, even some thriller elements.” —Washington Times
“Deftly pings between comedic romance and biting satire of London's art world.” —Sotheby’s
“Totally delicious; conspicuous consumption on this scale hasn’t been seen since the Eighties.” —The Times (London)
“Clever, funny, beguiling and wholly humane. . . . Reads like a confection concocted by Anita Brookner and Judith Krantz . . . Scholarly, passionate and enticing.” —The Independent (London)
“[A] satire worthy of the pen of Evelyn Waugh. A real crowd pleaser.” —Daily Express
“[A] pacy satire of the art world . . . Rothschild dishes up a salmagundi of unscrupulous dealers, desperate auctioneers and dodgy art experts, with a side-order of scheming Russian oligarchs.” —Sunday Herald
“Satirical, provocative, and exceedingly humorous. . . . Rothschild delights us with glimpses of London life—as louche, chic, and freakish as early Evelyn Waugh.” —John Richardson, author of A Life of Picasso
“Hugely entertaining. . . . [A] brilliant satire on the highest echelons of the art market.” —Antony Beevor, author of Ardennes 1944
“A blistering, uninhibited and hilarious satire of the London art scene . . . The writing is so good, interweaving a complex set of love stories of different kinds: romantic love, filial love, love of art.” —BookPage
“Dazzling. . . . An opulently detailed, suspensefully plotted, shrewdly witty novel of decadence, crimes ordinary and genocidal, and improbable love.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Compulsively readable, immensely enjoyable . . . [An] irresistible blend of art, mystery, and intrigue along the lines of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.” —Library Journal
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