The Improbability of Love is the first novel from writer and filmmaker Hannah Rothschild, author of biography The Baroness (UK: Virago). It will be published in the UK by Bloomsbury on May 21. It tells the story of Annie McDee who is hunting for a present for her unsuitable lover in a neglected second-hand shop. She spends what little money she has on a grimy painting which catches her eye. She prepares supper for her lover, who never appears. Annie is left with the painting, which turns out to be ‘The Improbability of Love’, a lost masterpiece by Antoine Watteau, one of the most influential French painters of the eighteenth century. Annie is soon pursued by people who want the picture.
Inspired by Edvard Munch’s painting ‘The Scream’, The Strawberry Girl is the debut novel by Lisa Strømme [below].Young girl Johanne Lien observes the tumultuous love affair which led Munch to paint ‘The Screma’. The story is set in 1893 in a small fishing community in the Norwegian fjords. Working for a wealthy family, Johanne becomes friends with the beautiful youngest daughter, Tullik Ihlen. Johanne acts as a go-between for Tullik to meet and seduce the infamous artist Munch, whose habits the local community regard as sinful. The Strawberry Girl will be published in 2016.
Erika Swyler’s novel The Book of Speculation is about a young librarian. Simon Watson discovers his family lives under a curse, which means all the women of his family drown on 24th July. It will be published in February 2016 in the UK by Atlantic imprint, Corvus.
The Artificial Anantomy of Parks by Kat Gordon [below] follows the life of Tallulah Park, who loses her mother at a young age and is passed around various unsuitable family members. Tallie grows up learning the worst about damage and betrayal, this is the story of how she finds love again. Publication date in the UK is July 1 this year by Legend Press.The debut novel by US author Alexandra Oliva, The Last One, has sold in 17 countries. It will be published in the UK in spring 2016 by Michael Joseph. The Last One is a psychological thriller about a woman who competes on a survivalist reality TV show, only to return to an actual reality that has drastically changed. Macmillan will publish False Hearts by Laura Lam [above] in January 2016. A ‘near-future’ thriller, the story starts at Mana’s Hearth, a retreat closed off from the rest of society and denied access to technology or modern medicine. Twin sisters Taema and Tila dream of a life beyond the walls of the compound. Then they escape. Ten years later, Tila is arrested for murder, she is covered in blood. Taema has to decide whether to say yes or no: go undercover as her sister and perhaps save her twin’s life.