Published by Random House Publishing Group on 2014-07-15
Genres: Family Life, Fiction, Literary, Psychological, Sagas
Source: Random House
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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.
I received this book for free from Random House in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I made a mistake in reading LIFE DRAWING by Robin Black. The mistake was not in the reading of the book, but the reading of the book after a piece of fluff that had my mind going 100mph. The first half of LIFE DRAWING had me groaning out of boredom and struggling to calm my racing thoughts, but then.. once I was able to calm down, I began to see just how beautiful the scenery was.
Here’s the thing about LIFE DRAWING. It’s actually a word-painting of life and the struggles that come, inherent, with any close relationships. Who do you trust outside of your partner? What do you trust your partner with? Can your partner handle if it you decide to go ahead and spill? If not, what do you do from there? These are just a few of the questions being addressed in Black’s story about a husband and wife and their neighbor next door.
August, or Gus, is an artist in her 40′s and she and her husband, Owen (a writer), came into some money that, by their standards, is a fortune. This money enabled them to move away from the city and all of the issues that plagued them there and try to start over in a quaint home that has excellent light for Gus and a perfect barn for Owen to write in. Their life is not idyllic, but it’s comfortable for them.
Then everything is disrupted when a woman moves in next door. The woman, Alison, is also a painter, and with that bit in common with Gus, a friendship is formed. Gus, who has never had a close friendship with a woman, is left to navigate some tricky waters and trouble starts to brew.
August also comes with her own special set of baggage. I thought I knew where the story was going to take me, but to be honest, I should have known better. The weaving of the stories becomes so complex that LIFE DRAWING really becomes quite the masterpiece by the end. Black is extremely patient in her storytelling and paints a very intricate, very detailed picture of the lives of Owen and Gus. The result was surprising and had me completely floored. And here I thought the book was going to be boring.
Check out these reviews!
- “Life Drawing is truly a gorgeous novel. The writing is outstanding. Intense, emotionally wrought, and with an attention to detail that rivals Gus’ own, Ms. Black makes readers become part of the story. “ - That’s What She Read
- “Masterfully written with exquisite prose, Life Drawing is compelling to its very last page.” - The Unlikely Bookworm
- “The book is taut, smart, a closed and inexorable world, a stunning page turner.” - Beth Kephart Books