You won’t find much going on or even very many characters in Robin Black’s stunning debut novel, but in the hands of this talented writer, you don’t need them. Summed up in one sentence, Life Drawing is about a childless couple who lives in an isolated area until they suddenly get a neighbor. There, doesn’t sound very exciting, right? That’s where you’re wrong.
Owen and his wife, Gus, are a writer and artist respectively who are surprised one day to find that someone has moved close to them in their rural area. Allison is warm and friendly; before long, Owen and Gus come out of their shells and become neighborly, inviting her to come over for dinner. When Allison’s daughter, Nora, comes to stay for awhile, they all become ingrained in each other’s lives, and Life Drawing quickly becomes a wonderful character study before its shocking, sudden conclusion.
Kudos to Black for this gorgeously written book, where every word is necessary and each paragraph reads like a stirring melody.