NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR
“Taut, elegant . . . Black is a writer of great wisdom.”—Claire Messud, The Guardian (UK)
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Augusta Edelman—Gus to her friends—is a painter, a wife, and not always the best judge of her own choices—one of them bad enough that she and her husband, Owen, have fled their longtime city home and its reminders of troubling events. Now, three years into their secluded country life, Gus works daily on the marriage she nearly lost, discovers new inspiration for her art, and contemplates the mysteries of a childhood tragedy. But this quiet, healing rhythm is forever shattered one hot July day when a stranger moves into the abandoned house next door and crosses more boundaries than just those between their lands. A fierce, honest, and moving portrait of a woman grappling with her fate, Life Drawing is a debut novel as beautiful and unsparing as the human heart.
Praise for Life Drawing
“The page-turning suspense of Robin Black’s novel comes from her beautiful, honest portrait of a marriage, of a life. . . . A novel of consequence, and a stunning one.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Gripping . . . the power of this story is how it illuminates, in utterly compelling detail, the complex give-and-take of a couple trying to save their marriage.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Truly brilliant . . . [Black] is that rare writer whose gift for prose is matched by her mastery of the other elements that make a great novel. . . . [Her] psychological prowess and incisive observations lend an edge even to seemingly straightforward scenes.”—Chicago Tribune
“Races to its resolution . . . Black’s writing is clear and direct [with] observations about the way people relate that resonate well after the book is closed.”—The New York Times Book Review
From the Trade Paperback edition.
A middle-aged married couple, their new friend, and her daughter interact, sometimes stormily, in this emotionally complex novel from Black (If I Loved You I Would Tell You This). Beginning with the information that one of these characters is now dead, the book draws the reader in from the first page and builds narrative tension almost ceaselessly to the bitter end. Owen and Augusta, a writer and a painter, respectively, have retreated from their former cosmopolitan life in Philadelphia to a rural idyll in a farmhouse, hoping to devote themselves to their work. Soon, however, a neighbor, Alison Hemmings, moves into a nearby rental. At first, Augusta and Alison get along famously, but then Alison's early-20s daughter, Nora, arrives for a visit and becomes infatuated with Owen. The situation threatens to reopen old wounds Augusta previously had an affair with the father of one of her art students. Added tension accrues when Alison's violent ex-husband, Paul, appears, creating a situation that eventually boils over. Black's characters are three-dimensional, and her depiction of their relationships, particularly between the two women, is masterly. An astute inquiry into relationships and betrayal, this novel is nerve-wracking yet irresistibly readable.
Customer ReviewsSee All
It was o.k
Felt it dragged a bit. The plot describes more action than what it entails but the ending was great which convinced me to give it 3 stars.