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Life Drawing

3.67 based on 701 ratings & 123 reviews on

2015 Long-listed

The Folio Prize


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

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'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.
Publishers Weekly
Suffused with remarkably sustained intensity . . . Full of insight into the fragility of marriage, this is a memorable read.
Sunday Times