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Life Drawing

3.67 based on 689 ratings & 121 reviews on

2015 Long-listed

The Folio Prize


24 April 14


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, where Gus can paint and Owen can write.

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 the new relationship 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.

Fierce, honest and astonishingly gripping, Life Drawing by Robin Black is a novel as beautiful and unsparing as the human heart.

In the media

Black brings a wealth of insight to this fine-tuned and exactly observed debut about a marriage in crisis . . . With such well-rounded characters and a highwire level of suspense, the novel builds to a devastating resolution.
Daily Mail
From an award-winning short story writer comes this intricate portrait of a long marriage and the discontents that come with it, which unfolds both elegantly and urgently. Black skewers this middle-age relationship with her top-notch writing and almost unbearable suspense.
Woman and Home
Black skilfully conveys the way a long-term relationship can so easily shift between love and affection and a petty tallying of old hurts and disappointments. In addition, she delivers a hair-raising portrait of a poisonous female friendship. Full of emotional turmoil yet subtle in its effect, this elegant novel is sure to draw in both women's fiction and literary fiction fans.