The Improbability of Love

The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild

Annie, an aspiring chef, finds the perfect gift for her former lover. It is a small painting found in a dusty junk shop. The painting, in the style of Watteau, eventually becomes the center of a major sale at a London auction house and attracts the attention of the international rich who are prepared to fight for it. As a chef Annie is an artist and is hired by the rich and famous to create themed dinners, but her knowledge of art is limited. She doesn’t realize that others are looking at her not as a cook but as the owner of an important art work and are plotting devious means of acquiring the piece. In the course of verifying the work, she meets a young guide at the Wallace Collection who falls in love with her and leads her through the maze of art scholars and greedy dealers who compete for ownership with whatever means available. The painting itself is also a narrator within the book and reveals its travels from France to Russia and into the world of Nazi Germany and stolen art. Author Hannah Rothschild offers a fictional look behind the curtains of the art world which can be read as a piece of crime fiction or a comment on the business of art. – Wendy Foster Leigh