Genre~ Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Published~ November 3, 2015
Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
A smart, sweeping novel--at once satirical and moving--about love, a famous lost painting, and a dark secret from the past, set in the London art world.
Annie McDee, thirty-one and recovering from the end of a long-term relationship, is chef for two sinister art dealers. She's just spent her meager savings on a dusty junk-shop painting for her new, unsuitable, boyfriend. But when he doesn't show up for his birthday dinner, it becomes hers. And amazingly, the painting speaks--though only we hear "him." Shrewd, spoiled, charming, world weary, and cynical, he comments, from his unique perspective, on Annie and the modern world, but he also recounts tales of his previous owners: Louis XV, Voltaire, and Catherine the Great, among them. Once it becomes known that Annie has the painting--whose provenance involves the Nazis--she finds herself at the center of a frantic, and sometimes fiendish, scramble among dealers, collectors, and other highly interested parties, for its ownership. It's a dazzlingly irreverent and entertaining many-layered tale of a devious world where, however improbably, love will triumph.
Recently I have started paying more attention to the covers of books. I have seen hashtags regarding covers, models at book conventions with followings, people purchasing books solely based on the cover and more, which has struck me as odd because I had not ever really focused on the cover. The blurb, yes. The inside jacket, perhaps. The author, certainly. However over the last few weeks I have really started to think about the cover, the story it is conveying, how it relates to the book, etc. So with that I must say that I do not like the cover of this book.
Beyond the cover though I think this book is a delight. A few things at time were a bit drawn out (the book is over 400 pages), but overall it was an entertaining read. The story is complex and simple at the same time. It is simple because at its heart it is a story about love. We see the love a father/daughter, a mother/daughter, a new couple, an uncle/nephew, love of money, love of art, the decisions to love a job over seeking love of family and more in this intricate story that covers wide spans of history and decades of characters.
This is a long story full of many characters. Even the small characters come fully alive and full of pizzazz. Even the ones that began somewhat as staid or cold had spins that were fully of surprise twists and depth. At first I was not sure of my favorite character, but I do believe after thinking on it that my favorite would be, The Improbability of Love itself. As you read the book you will find that this is the name of the art masterpiece, but it also is a character who tells us about its own history, the story of its owners and more. If I had to pick a favorite twist I do believe that it would involve the James Bond conversation and who the current version of Britain's James Bond actually is in this novel.
The intertwining of history, art, food, love and money make this an adventurous story that I think many will enjoy...if they can commit to reading a little over 400 pages!
Links to Purchase Book
Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer~ I was loaned this book by Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Until my next post...love y'all!!!