The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
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December 8, 2015
The Improbability of Love
If I were going to read a just-published novel about a penniless chef who spends 75 pounds on a dusty old painting in a junk shop as a birthday present for a man she has just met, who then stands her up, and her alcoholic mother, and the art historian who dismisses the painting as a fake, but hires Annie to create a fantasy dinner for her 60th birthday, because Annie has, improbably, created a Caravaggio-themed dinner for her employers, renowned and imperious art dealers who usually only allow her to cook steamed fish and stewed apples, and who are grappling with a horrible secret that, improbably, has something to do with Annie's painting, and a flamboyant elderly man-about-town who dresses like Elton John and makes his living by advising exiled Russian billionaires how to live in London, and an impoverished earl who is about to lose his desperately-needed day job as the head of a London auction house, and the handsome young museum guide who paints at night, and cooks, and falls for Annie, and rescues her, improbably, when something terrible (and improbable) happens, in the kind of novel where a whole chunk of the plot is just skipped over, and the ending just gets kind of silly, not to mention a full-of-itself painting, by Watteau, that is one of the book's most annoying characters, I'm glad that it was this one, because it was really a lot of escapist fun. :)
Noted under: Fiction
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