In Life Drawing, her gorgeously written first novel, Robin Black unfolds a fierce, honest, and moving portrait of a woman, and of a couple’s life - the betrayals and intimacies, the needs and regrets, the secrets that sustain love and the ones that threaten to destroy it.
Augusta and Owen have moved to the country, and live a quiet, and rather solitary life, Gus as a painter, Owen as a writer. They have left behind the city, and its associations to a troubled past, devoting their days to each other and their art. But beneath the surface of this tranquil existence lies the heavy truth of Gus’s past betrayal, an affair that ended, but that quietly haunts Owen, Gus, and their marriage.
When Alison Hemmings, a beautiful British divorcée, moves in next door, Gus, feeling lonely and isolated, finds herself drawn to Alison, and as their relationship deepens, the lives of the three neighbors become more and more tightly intertwined. With the arrival of Alison’s daughter, Nora, the emotions among them grow so intense that even the slightest misstep has the potential to do irrevocable harm to them all.
With lyrical precision and taut, suspenseful storytelling, Black steadily draws us deeper into a world filled with joys and darkness, love and sorrows, a world that becomes as real as our own. Life Drawing is a novel as beautiful and unsparing as the human heart.
"Fine-tuned and exactly observed... With such well-rounded characters and a highwire level of suspense, the novel builds to a devastating resolution." (The Daily Mail)
"Black's command of the story carries us swiftly through ever more dangerous rapids.... She captures the various pains and pleasures of love, and how betrayal distorts and damages, with superb subtlety." (BBC)
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- Ruth Bain
Elegant prose, honest reflection on marriage
- Iris Pereyra