The Art of Losing (Paperback)

By Rebecca Connell

Europa Editions, 9781933372785, 236pp.

Publication Date: September 28, 2010



Rebecca Connell's brilliantly crafted debut novel examines the consequences of betrayal and the legacy of loss.
At the age of five, Louise lost her mother in a tragic accident. Now eighteen years later, she remains convinced of the truth she glimpsed as a girl, that her mother's lover Nicholas, an Oxford professor, was responsible for her death. And so Louise becomes Lydia, hiding her identity behind her dead mother's name and setting out to confront Nicholas. At first she watches him from the shadows, but a chance meeting with his son provides the pretext Louise needs to fully insinuate herself into the unsuspecting professor's life as she plots her revenge.
Nicholas, meanwhile, may not know who Lydia really is, but her name alone evokes memories of his harrowing and passionate affair all those years ago. His and Lydia's intense and torturous romance changed the course of his life. Despite his success and his seemingly perfect family, memories of its awful conclusion haunt him still.
Alternating between two different perspectives on the same tragedy, Connell deftly probes the contours and shortcomings of memory. Acute and penetrating, the Art of Losing mesmerizingly builds toward its stunning conclusion and Connell's -finely-crafted mood of curdled sensuality and gathering menace- (The Independent) holds true to its course until the very last dramatic twist.

About the Author

Rebecca Connell graduated from oxford University in 2001. The Art of Losing is her first novel. She lives in London.