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The Impartiality of Love/Hannah Rothschild

This is a novel of many parts, most of which do not work. Above all it reveals the amoral ruthlessness of the art world after a woman called Annie, a cook who is unlucky in love, discovers a lost Antoine Watteau called Improbability of Love in a junk shop.

This develops into a chick lit romance, an implausible murder for which – even more implausibly – Annie finds herself in Holloway and various and unsuccesful attempts at humour like the proposterous popinjay Barty, a style advisor, to arrivistes as well as long sections about catered cookery.

Hannah Rothschild is Chair of the National Gallery and for this reader would have preferred if she stuck to her field.

I found the way the art world solicits billionaire clients, the career concerns of an aristo auctioneer down on his fortunes in every sense and desperate for works to sell in his posh auction house, the ruthlessness of dealers, the issue of provenance when a work of art and been looted by the Nazis much the most interesting elements of this novel.

About Alice Mansfield

A graduate of the Slade, Alice has painted and written about art all her life. With her children now having now grown up and departed the nest, she recently took up sculpture. More Posts