Friday, 16 May 2014

Life Drawing - Robin Black

Life Drawing
by Robin Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'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 is a novel as beautiful and unsparing as the human heart.'

What can I say other than what a beautiful cover this is, it reminds me of when I was at school and we were attempting to dip dye paper and you drop the ink into the water and it spreads out. Just beautiful! Anyway, lets get back to the book!

When this book was sent, I knew nothing about it, however after reading the blurb I couldn't wait to read it as I thought I was really going to enjoy it.

The story begins through the voice of Gus, Owen is dead, right from the first few pages and it is apparent that we are going to be finding out the case of his death. I enjoyed this style of writing and the direction the book took. We were given enough information to get us hooked and wanting to find out how this had happened.

Gus and Owen used to live in the city, Gus had been struggling with the prospect of her being unable to have children and this took it's toll on their marriage. They have been married a long time and children just never happened. Gus was unfaithful while she struggled with this turmoil. She decided to be honest with Owen as their marriage was based on trust. He decided to stand by her but not in the city. They moved out into the country side with no one around for miles, except for a house that had been abandoned years ago. They were pretty comfortable with their new life. Owen as a writer and Gus as an artist. They both had enough room for them to progress with their careers and they made steady progress in their marriage. Although Owen has moved on Gus cannot help think it will never be forgotten and will linger over them.

One day a woman, Alison turns up at their door, she is their new neighbour much to Owens disgust, their cocooned life was being to unravel and Owen didn't like it. Gus relished in the opportunity to be sociable again and began to confide in Alison as a friend. Their lives were beginning to change and the dynamics of the house were shifting.

I found the first half of the book a little of a struggle. I found it hard to connect to the characters and I found there was a lack of pace in the story line. Once I had finished the book and looked back I understood why the author spent so long building the tension and things did begin to slot into place. Saying that the book was not predictable, I kept second guessing what was going to happen and who it would be with. Needless to say I did not know and I enjoyed the twist.

The whole story was told through Gus's voice, which I thought worked well. The story is about love, jealousy, revenge, betrayal, marriage and friendship. It was well written and the story stayed with me some time after I had finished it. This book makes you think about long lasting effects of your own actions and second guessing what someone you love may do.

I enjoyed watching the relationship between Gus and Alison unfold and the tension between the two build up and shift. You begin to get sucked into their lives and feel more involved than your meant to. This is an engaging read.

Although this is a book that I probably would not have picked up myself I am glad the publisher sent it to me, it is a shocking book that will last with you for days. I feel this is the type of book you can read more than once, once you have discovered the ending and re read I think you would discover new aspects the Gus and Owen's relationship that perhaps the first time around you would have missed. I also feel I would be looking harder for clues and tell, tell signs of the result.

I would be interested in reading more from Robin Black.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending it to me.

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