Fierce, honest, and astonishingly gripping, Life Drawing is a novel as beautiful and unsparing as the human heart.
Augusta and Owen have taken the leap. Leaving the city and its troubling memories behind, they have moved to the country for a solitary life where they can devote their days to each other and their art - Gus is a painter; Owen, a writer.
But the facts of a past betrayal prove harder to escape than urban life. Ancient jealousies and resentments haunt their marriage and their rural paradise.
When Alison Hemmings moves into the empty house next door, Gus is drawn out of isolation, despite her own qualms and Owen's suspicions. As their friendship deepens, the lives of the two households grow more and more tightly intertwined. It will take only one new arrival to intensify emotions to breaking point.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
Oh my goodness this is SO good: a really intelligent portrait of a long term marriage between two mature, smart, creative, self-aware people. As pleasing as a well-polished pebble.
Augusta and Owen live in the country where they lead a contentedly isolated life devoted to each other and their art. When Alison moves into the empty house next door, their focus and social habits change and a new dynamic begins. Then an unexpected arrival shows up, and new tension breaks the existing harmony irrevocably.
Black has real psychological acuity, insight and compassion for her characters, who are as three-dimensional as anyone you know in real life with their contradictions, complexities and hidden motives and doubts. She writes with generosity, affection and knowing about the destabilising impact that change can have on long established intimacy and routine. Avoiding cliché, she tackles the challenges of long term familiarity and domesticity with clear eyed accuracy and elegance. A gem.
About the Author
Robin Black is the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This, a finalist for the Frank O'Connor Short Story Prize and the novel Life Drawing. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including O, The Oprah Magazine and the New York Times Magazine. A recipient of fellowships from the Leeway Foundation and the MacDowell Colony, Black was the 2012 Distinguished Visiting Writer at Bryn Mawr College and has taught most recently in the Brooklyn College MFA Program. She lives with her family in Philadelphia.
'A wise, finely observed portrait of the workings of a marriage, as compelling as it is convincing.' - M.L. Stedman. 'A riveting story about the corrosive effects of betrayal, and a beautifully written meditation on the delicate balance of intimacy and isolation within a long marriage.' - Alice Sebold
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 23rd April 2014
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 13.6
Weight (kg): 20.9