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.
©2014 Robin Black (P)2014 Random House Audio
"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)
The narrator's voice was nice, but the story seemed to drone on and on with too much introspection from the main character. If found myself getting sleepy while listening to it in the car. I felt that it was well written; just not my cup of tea.
Cassandra Campbell’s narration was really well done with different accents and every character had a different voice. Although I disliked the story itself Campbell’s narration was the only thing that kept me listening.
This book was not my cup of tea. All the characters are selfish uppity people, who I would never want to know. These people were so unlikeable the only reason I finished this book was for the narration.
I’m not going to go on and on about how much I disliked this book and was bored to tears most of the time. It was a bit too Franzenish for my tastes. I know I am in the minority here but, ugh.
2 star book
4 star narration
Maybe I shouldn't have ordered this book because I don't care much for domestic dramas but the art aspect appealed to me. The parts of the book about art were in fact very good.
I'm not a reader who necessarily has to like the characters in a book, but these characters were simply annoying. The narrator is extremely egocentric and the other characters are not much better. Also, on approximately every other page someone is apologizing about something.
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