Melissa Rochelle's Reviews > The Improbability of Love

The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild
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really liked it
bookshelves: ebook, arc, read-2015

In the prologue we meet a dizzying number of people that are attending an art auction and ALL want their hands on a The Improbability of Love -- a work of art by an artist that introduced the world to Rococo art (and was ahead of his time with his impressionistic brushstrokes). There are rappers, museum directors, art historians, wealthy Russians, heads of State, and so many others that want THIS piece of (art) history.

Then we go back six months and meet Annie McDee, a lonely young woman that has been recently dumped (and dumped again), while she's out shopping for her current boyfriend's birthday. While out she stumbles upon a painting that grabs her attention and impulsively she decides to buy it and gift it to her gentleman friend. This one quick decision will alter Annie's life and left me wondering for dozens of chapters how the painting went from masterpiece to antiques shop to auction.

The painting is both an object and a voice in this book (and one of the reasons why I finally picked this one up to read -- a painting as narrator?! OK!). We get to hear of its rescue and its history through its own sometimes cranky, sometimes snobby, sometimes tragic voice.

There were problems with this book: it took me quite some time to keep all the characters straight. There was one scene that still sticks out where a woman climbs into the backseat of a car, but is then hitting her hands on the steering wheel (small car? really long arms?). Occasionally, we would jump between characters and I couldn't tell how much much time had passed, if any has passed at all.

Overall, I found it to be an interesting glimpse into the world of capital-A Art filled with smart observations about the increasingly rising costs of art, how cost is tied to desire, and the connections between art & power. Definitely a book to pick up if you appreciated Theo's love of art in The Goldfinch (this is a much faster read!) or if you liked the historical and modern day connections to a piece of art in Jojo Moyes' The Girl You Left Behind .

Also read these...
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt The Art Forger by Barbara A. Shapiro The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes The Monuments Men Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel Hitler's Art Thief Hildebrand Gurlitt, the Nazis, and the Looting of Europe's Treasures by Susan Ronald
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Reading Progress

September 18, 2015 – Started Reading
September 18, 2015 – Shelved
September 18, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
September 27, 2015 –
69.0% "I want to visit an art museum and eat Annie's delicious-sounding food while browsing the galleries. Instead I'll just go grab myself a glass of a milk and a granola bar."
September 29, 2015 –
September 29, 2015 – Finished Reading
September 30, 2015 – Shelved as: ebook
September 30, 2015 – Shelved as: arc
September 30, 2015 – Shelved as: read-2015

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