I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
Best character in a novel ever: The painting in The Improbability of Love
A woman finds a long-missing, seminal but lesser-known work of art in a thrift shop and buys it without having any idea of the chaos that will unfold as a result of this small canvas.
I loved this book. Told in the third person, we follow the lives of several people who live and breathe art, the painting itself, and Annie, an almost thoroughly broken human being that in spite of everything just keeps plugging along, wanting nothing more than to cook fantastical feasts.
As the painting itself says:
"Let me guess what you are thinking. Girl finds picture; picture turns out to be worth a fortune. Girl (finally) finds boy with a heart. Girl sells picture, makes millions, marries boy, all live happily ever after.
Piss off. Yes, you heard me, piss off...
Life is not that simple."
Neither is this book. It's a twisty tale and ended up in places I didn't expect, and it was wonderful. The author had me fascinated from one moment to the next. People I felt sorry for at the start, I hated at the end, and people I thought were awful I sympathised with as the book progressed. Not everybody got the ending I'd have chosen for them, but all in all I was satisfied as I turned the last page.
I could nit-pick a few things: information I'd have liked to have, or characters that fall off the radar, or the ever-present copyediting errors, but really, I loved this book. I hated putting it down and I couldn't wait to pick it back up. Just looking at it makes me smile and that's what a 5 star read should do. I'll likely forget about most of the characters with time, but the painting, he is a character I'll never forget.
(Summer book bingo square for "More than 400 pages long".)