Book Review: The Art of Losing

The Art of Losing

Rebecca Connell

Europa Editions

240 pages

Louise lost her mother at a very young age.  She is now in her twenties and is in search for the man who she believes to be responsible for her mother’s death.

Nicholas and Louise’s mother met during the 80s when they worked together at a school.  Also working there was Lydia’s husband, who is a bit socially awkward but is very much enamored with his wife.  Lydia and Nicholas soon embark on an affair that completely engulfs the two of them and threatens to destroy those around them.

Eventually the two must make a decision as to whether they forge ahead as a couple and leave their respective families or cut ties completely and move on.  Neither choice is optimal and the two are at a loss as to what to do.

Years later, Louise adopts her mother’s name and starts trying to infiltrate Nicholas’s life.  She holds him completely responsible for the death of her mother, and as such, she abhors him.  As she gets deeper and deeper though, she begins to understand that circumstances are not as cut and dry as she had assumed.

The Art of Losing was absolutely fantastic.  Adultery is such a tough pill to swallow, and Connell was able to show that.  It was easy at first to judge Nicholas and Lydia but as their affair wore on, they became almost helpless, and probably just as miserable as their respective partners.  While that certainly doesn’t absolve them of their actions, it made them human.

Likewise, Louise was quick to judge Nicholas but she started to realize that the relationship between her parents and the separate relationships they had were unknown to her in the way that those relationships are between parents and children.

A good book is one that makes you think long after you put it down.  The Art of Losing gave me a lot to digest and the character and their actions were such that I could never completely “choose” a side.

The Art of Losing will certainly make it to my Best of list for 2011.  It counts towards the Europa Challenge.

Other Reviews:

Vulpes Libris

I purchased this book from Barnes & Noble.

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9 Responses

  1. If it’s made your “best of” list already and you’re still thinking about it, I’ll have to keep it in mind!

  2. This one sounds like a great read. It’s the first i’m hearing about this book. I’ll keep my eye open for it. I love the theme of your blog. Those classics are beautiful!

  3. I do want to read this one – your review and others have made this Europa sound terrific.

  4. I do love Europa Editions – this is another for my list! Thanks.

  5. Wow, what an impressive review! At first, when you described the plot, I didn’t want to read it, but as you talked about it more, I got totally interested! Thanks for the thought-provoking reaction!

  6. I’ve have been wanting to read a Europa book because everyone keeps raving about them. This one sounds fab. Must go add to my wishlist now!

  7. Isn’t this cover fantastic? and one of your top reads, huh? I really want to read this one.

  8. I love Europa’s offerings, and I definitely want to check this one out. Your great review has made it sound really compelling!

  9. Yay, Europa Challenge!! I have this one in my TBR and look forward to reading it. I’m glad you liked it so much! 🙂

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