Rebecca Connell’s debut novel is a brilliantly crafted mix of thriller and literary romance that examines the consequences of betrayal and the legacy of loss.
At the age of ten, Louise lost her mother in a tragic accident. More than a decade later she is convinced of the truth she glimpsed as a girl: her mother’s lover Nicholas, an Oxford professor, was responsible for her death. And so Louise becomes Lydia, hiding her true identity behind her dead mother’s name and setting out to confront Nicholas. At first she only watches him from the shadows, but a chance meeting with his son provides the pretext she needs to fully insinuate herself into the unsuspecting professor’s life.
Nicholas may not know who Lydia really is, but her name 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.
Rebecca Connell graduated from Oxford University in 2001. She writes about youth culture and lifestyle for numerous magazines. The Art of Losing is her first novel. She lives in London.