Read The Art Of Losing by Rebecca Connell Online


Louise must come to terms with the loss of her mother when she was ten, which she partly blames on her mother's former lover....

Title : The Art Of Losing
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780007300365
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 231 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Art Of Losing Reviews

  • Steve lovell
    2019-05-04 02:14

    For a first novel ‘The Art of Losing’ is quite a stunning achievement. A murder mystery of sorts, the plot produces a few twists and builds to a climax where the revenge factor became more muted and the ‘end-end’ was an up. Towards that ultimate point the author’s language became increasingly overcooked and for a while this reader feared disappointment. This was averted and relief ensued.The three main protagonists were all flawed individuals for whom it was possible to develop a modicum of sympathy. The lesser characters provided most of the humanity. Love/lust led Nicholas and Lydia to be quite despicable towards their hapless partners, whilst Louise/Lydia’s desire for payback created much of the book’s tension. The coincidences in the storyline did not stretch believability to the extent it negated Connell’s well thought through narrative meaning I’ll look forward to ‘Told in Silence’, an extract from which closed my edition. There were a few other welcome extras, and in one of these Connell hinted that she may go further over to ‘the dark side’. No doubt the crime genre is exceedingly popular, but this novel was all the better for her not succumbing to the ‘full monty’. The restraint observed to me displayed her writerly class - so please Ms Connell subdue any inclination towards murder and mayhem.

  • Georgina
    2019-05-25 06:18

    Aptly titled because there's definitely no winners here - A sad and sorry state of affairs indeed. I enjoyed the writing regardless of how predictable the ending was. Just because readers can guess the ending of a book within the first chapter doesn't mean it's a poorly written story. Sometimes the writer doesn't necessarily intend to leave readers guessing until the final reveal, they're just telling a story. A well-rounded, well-paced read.

  • Anne
    2019-05-05 01:01

    Loved this story of love and obsession. I liked the structure of alternate chapters, and I thought the tension and emotions were superbly done. A good story well told, and it gets points from me too for being kept as long as it needed to be, but no longer.

  • Johanna Markson
    2019-05-25 03:11

    The Art of Losing, Rebecca ConnellA dark and tense well-built psychological novel. The book focuses on a young woman's search for the man who she blames for the death of her mother and her desire to hurt him for what he took from her. The story also reveals, through memories, the love affair at the center of the tale. Moving back and forth in time, the writer explores the joy and destruction of a secret and illicit love affair along with the emotional stress of the loss of a mother. The surprise outcome is not that big a surprise, but the struggle the girl faces, her grief and need to confront the man she blames for her mother's death, is chillingly portrayed.

  • Susan
    2019-04-27 00:20

    I need to stop borrowing books by theme. In this case, I alternated reading The Art of Losing with Elena Ferrante's Troubling Lovefor the theme of grieving a mother's death. Unfortunately these books neither have particularly grieving mothers, nor are they brought to best advantage by alternating the two. In fact, they have such similar conceits that they're almost impossible to tell apart. Mother is dead, mother's adultery has devastated the family, daughter follows mother's lover around, daughter finds herself in bed with mother's lover's son, etc. The worst thing about this list of similarities is that only half of the list should appear in a compelling book. I would personally not think about having sex with my mother's lover's son, but maybe these authors took the same Freudian analysis class and decided it was a meaningful symbol of working feelings out. Which, if it were the case, would be almost okay if the book itself was a good read.The Art of Losing has the benefit of alternating the narrative from present "revenge" storyline to the past affair storyline. It's refreshing to hear a different voice and to see the affair develop. That is, it's refreshing for about the first half of the novel. Around the middle, the whole thing started to plod a little. I didn't like the characters, the infidelity or the creepy stalking part of the "revenge" and I just wanted the whole thing to end.I think the book would have been significantly better if the "revenge" were ever clearly thought through by the main character, Louise, who has the vague notion that showing up a la Banquo's ghost in her mother's lover's life will change EVERYTHING. It's the sort of thinking you'd expect from a 16-year-old, yet Louise is 23.It feels like the author is trying very hard to say something, but without much success. Yes, adultery hurts all the participants and their families. Yes, keeping dark secrets is bad. Also, pegging all guilt onto one person is shortsighted and can lead to trouble down the line. But really, what is new about this? And why is the mother's lover such a morally uninteresting character? (Despite being the first person narrator for half the book, he sounds like a jerk in the past and present.)

  • Jim Leckband
    2019-05-03 05:59

    As Elizabeth Bishop profoundly put it, the art of losing isn't hard to master, but the art of writing is. Not that this book is badly written, because it is not, it is just that the alternating chapters between Louise and Nicholas are in the first person and I am hung up on why we are reading their tales. Why are they writing it? Is it that just like in Bishop's last stanza of "One Art" that they must "Write it!" because each of their losses looks like disaster but really isn't? (spoilers ensue:)Maybe that is the key and Connell is playing a deeper game than I thought? Martin is the one who has lost the most and is the most innocent but yet we don't hear his tale - is he so boring yet again that he can't even get his story told? Louise is innocent as well of the initial disaster, however she is guilty in a much later but relatively harmless indiscretion. She is the fulcrum of the whole novel so it is understandable she is writing. Nicholas' story surprised me by making me almost sympathize with him. Louise is initially sympathetic, then I realized that she is in fact as much a descendant of Nicholas as Adam and can be just as troublesome as them.

  • Cheila
    2019-04-26 07:08

    Aptly titled because there's definitely no winners here - A sad and sorry state of affairs indeed. This book was really gripping. I just couldn't put it down. The story told from the perspectives of both Louise and Nicholas was just a great storyline. The author did such an exceptional job making the reader feel the emotions of the characters. At times, I felt so sorry for Louise and how her life is so filled with anger, sorrow and loss. Other times, I found myself angry with her for going into her mother's past to seek revenge. Nicholas made me angry from the beginning with how selfish he was for another man's wife and how decisions he made early on affected his entire life. The plot with Louise and Adam was both disturbing and sad. This book just leaves you with a disturbing clear picutre of where lies and deception will lead you.

  • Nicholas
    2019-04-26 02:56

    Maybe 3.5 stars. I liked the way the book was written, I just found it slightly implausible. That implausibility isn't revealed till near the end, which means that you get about 150 pages of great prose and building suspense. And that's all for the good. I guess I just found myself disagreeing with some of the choices the author made in terms of how characters acted and reacted. I'm not sure I found them all that convincing, and I think it would have been totally possible to carry through with the first premise of the book -- daughter of dead mother tracks down said mother's former extramarital lover -- without then veering into where the author veers by the end. It makes for a more shocking ending, but not necessarily one that is so believable.

  • Lorri Steinbacher
    2019-05-25 06:19

    Well-written, if at times a little implausible. Still it was suspenseful, and the alternating POV chapters unravelled the story at the perfect pace. I was surprised and yet not surprised by the [spoiler]incest. Felt that Adam might be her brother but once they consummated, I figured that wasn't the case because this didn't feel like "that kind" of book. Still, it was more of a "Hmmm, she went through with it" rahter than a gasp inducing surprise [/spoiler]. Nicholas was not the demon that Louise believes him to be and will probably realizes as she matures that her mother's death was a tragic ending to the type of complicated, emotionally-exhausting relationships that adults get themselves into.

  • Marcy Kenison
    2019-05-11 04:10

    This book was really gripping. I just couldn't put it down. The story told from the perspectives of both Louise and Nicholas was just a great storyline. The author did such an exceptional job making the reader feel the emotions of the characters. At times, I felt so sorry for Louise and how her life is so filled with anger, sorrow and loss. Other times, I found myself angry with her for going into her mother's past to seek revenge. Nicholas made me angry from the beginning with how selfish he was for another man's wife and how decisions he made early on affected his entire life. The plot with Louise and Adam was both disturbing and sad. This book just leaves you with a disturbing clear picutre of where lies and deception will lead you.

  • Caitlin Constantine
    2019-05-15 03:04

    I saw someone refer to this book as MFA fiction, which makes perfect sense to me. It's a very competent, nicely written book that contained no jarring language or strange characters or plot twists that were terribly unrealistic.Unfortunately I don't have much else to say about it. I found the passages about adultery and its affects on the other family members rather sad and also pretty believable, and they definitely tugged at my heart a bit.I guess the best word I can come up with (which I've already used) is "competent." I gave the book four stars (although I would have preferred 3.5 stars) for this reason. I hope that Connell continues to write and develop her skills as a writer and storyteller, because she's obviously very talented.(less)

  • Cathie Whitmore
    2019-05-23 01:58

    I am reading the final chapters now and feeling a little dismayed at the way this story has deteriorated towards the end. The incest, I felt unneccessary as it didn't add anything to the story and it left a nasty taste for the reader. I found it impossible to believe that a five year old Louise would have any understanding whatsoever of the letter she found after her mother's death. To comprehend this child carrying the contents of that letter through her life into adulthood is ridiculous as is the revelations of Nicholas's deepest secret to a relative stranger. Such a shame for a book which started off so well to lose the plot to such a degree towards the end.

  • Panagiota
    2019-05-09 01:25

    I'm at a bit of a loss. This was a great look into infidelity, first maddening love, and complacent marriages. It was off kilter, especially with the Adam relationship (gasp!). But more than anything it was just really sorrowful. A novel of two couples and a byproduct stumbling through life trying to make happiness out of what they know won't yield. A tragedy. My happiest parts of the book are between Nicholas and Adam as an infant then, this hurts in regards to Louise. Very thought provoking and marriage questioning.

  • Lewis Manalo
    2019-05-17 03:22

    This novel had a very compelling beginning with a character who assumes a fales identity so that she might shadow her mother's killer. Unfortunately, what starts out as a very intriguing novel turns very melodramatic 3/4 of the way through, and the answers to the reader's questions about the story become somewhat formulaic.That said, the writer is very gifted, giving her separate characters strong points of view and her novel a structure that keeps the reader interested. Hopefully, she learns the faults of this novel and improves in the future.

  • 에미
    2019-05-20 00:18

    Mesmerizing prose exists in the beginning chapters of The Art of Losing. This young, proficient writer produces a beautiful, heartrending narrative that ends predictably. Knowing the outcome doesn’t take away from the enjoyment or one’s admiration of the young novelist’s first publication. I had the same thoughts and sentiments when I read Zadie Smith’s White Teeth years ago. Here’ a young author that I should follow closely.

  • Christina
    2019-05-11 01:13

    A well written modern tale of what can happen if you go searching for answers that would sometimes be better left unanswered.A 23 year old woman goes searching for her late mother's lover and meets his family with emotional trauma not only caused to herself but to everyone concerned.The age old story of falling in love with the wrong person at the wrong time and the consequences that follow, but with a twist.

  • Jemma (Aussie BookWorm)
    2019-05-23 02:09

    Whack. That is my one word impression of this book. It follows Louise as she takes on a false life to discover the secrets of the man she claims responsible for her mother's death. She ends up moving in with the man, while she dates his son and charms his wife. It's very teen ansgty, but just a tad deeper. Some good twists, but you usually figure them out before they are actually revealed.Rate: 5/10

  • Erik
    2019-05-16 02:20

    Wonderful little book that is part character study, part thriller (though that may be stretching it). Connell, who wrote this in her 20s, does an excellent job of capturing motivations and psychological insight of the main characters. You might not like all of them by the end of the book, but you certainly understand them. Highly recommended.

  • Jodi
    2019-05-06 03:09

    Wow -- a totally random selection from the bookstore, and I couldn't have been more engaged. Gorgoeous character development, engrossing plot. Normally I don't like it when books that change narration with every other chapter, but in this case, it added suspense. I found myself rooting for both characters even though they're totally at odds. I highly recommend it.

  • Marley
    2019-05-19 07:20

    A really good MFA novel. Everything was good, characters and plot unfolded at a nice pace...which made it disappointingly predictable. No passion or surprises, even the intended surprises feel obvious and easy. Not bad, per se, just not very noteworthy. Clearly Connell is a talented and promising writer; let's hope she finds a stronger story for her next novel.

  • Sandra
    2019-04-26 06:06

    I read the first five pages and then I had to work so I put it down for a few days. Last night I began reading it and I could not stop, it was so good. It doesn't have a complicated plot or a story that is hard to follow. The book doesn't even have very many characters, but it was so interesting and it kept me reading until I was done.

  • Jacqueline
    2019-04-26 02:14

    I really enjoyed this book. The story and passion amongst the characters sucked me right in and I found myself craving more and more as the chapters alternated from past and present. I couldn't get enough and I ended up reading the novel a second time soon after it was done.I'm looking forward to more of Rebecca Connell's work!

  • Shannan
    2019-04-27 03:09

    I read this book in one night. I started it around 8 at night and read until 3 in the morning! It was really good! The plot got a little dramatic in the end and I could have written the end to be more realistic and statisfying but it didn't totally was just a little too predictable. I am interested to see what Connell does next.

  • Mel
    2019-05-21 02:15

    This was a very very good book! It was a simple story told from different character's perspectives, in which a young woman goes to unusual lengths to find out about an affair her Mother had. There was a good twist at the end, that I didn't see coming. Even without the twist, the novel held my attention with well thought out and developed characters and motives.

  • Marcy
    2019-05-25 01:08

    This book, told in alternating voices and alternating timeframes by two of the main characters, was well-paced and even tense at times. Other reviewers have said the outcome was a foregone conclusion, but for me that wasn't the case. I felt the story building to a crescendo, and in the process, I grew to care about each character. A very good read.

  • Renata SG
    2019-05-02 00:12


  • Isla McKetta
    2019-05-12 01:20

    Riveting and cinematic, the tension in this book built steadily all the way to the last page. I was forced to read slowly and carefully and to love surrendering to Connell's pacing. Consider me gobsmacked.

  • Vanessa
    2019-05-06 02:07

    It was an interesting depiction of how tangled a web we really weave when first we practice to deceive. In some ways, it was really heartbreaking. I thought the demonstration of the girl's growth was pretty well done.

  • Krenner1
    2019-05-24 07:09

    Well written debut of a London author. The story is one of infidelity...nothing new, there. But the writing makes it compelling and the ending is very satisfying. A short, quick read. I do recommend!

  • Victoria
    2019-05-01 04:00

    Wow! What a beautifully written book. I read this book in two days. Explores the consequences of adultery, infidelity and deception perfectly.