Sunday, August 19, 2012

Life Drawing For Beginners-Roisin Meaney

Life Drawing For Beginners

Roisin Meaney

5 Spot, Aug 14 2012, $13.99

ISBN: 9781455504084

In Carrickbawn, Ireland secondary school teacher Audrey decides to host an adult night-school class Life Drawing For Beginners to make a little money and have something to do on a Tuesday night to break up her rut. Audrey hires single mom Jackie as a model for her six week class. Two sexagenarians protest the nudity before class begins.

Five students sign up for her six week class. Polish immigrant Zarek becomes a student to break the monotony of his boring cafe job and have one night away from his loud roommate. Meg, Irene and Fiona have never attended an adult art class before. Single dad James has moved to town with his daughter, but plans to stay aloof as he thought he was enrolled in a French class except he is attracted to Jackie. Meanwhile Audrey asks the grumpy pet store owner “How much is that doggy in the window?” as she has fallen in love with the puppy. None of the seven participants are quite like the image they try to portray to the other attendees.

This is a warm Irish character study starring seven engaging people with diverse personalities but sharing in common struggles with their respective lives. The myriad of subplots blend nicely together into a panorama drama though reads more like short stories connected by the life-drawing class than a novel.

Harriet Klausner

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