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Life Drawing For Beginners Paperback – August 14, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I loved Life Drawing for Beginners. From the start, I was caught up by the characters and increasingly intrigued as the threads of their lives entwine. Like the life drawing class in which they meet, we come to see them in their bare and poignant beauty. Roisin Meaney perfectly times her revelations to keep us glued to the page. This is a charming, fast-paced book that stays with the reader for a very long time."—Barbara Delinsky, New York Times bestselling author of ESCAPE

"SEMI-SWEET is wise, witty, and wonderful. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. It's going to sell like cupcakes."—Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Roisin Meaney serves up a tale as charming and delicious as a homemade cupcake. Hannah, the main character, is endearing, funny, insecure, and unforgettable. I savored every bit of this romantic and deeply true novel, right up to the surprising ending."—Susan Wiggs

"Fans of Maeve Binchy will love Roisin Meaney. Semi-Sweet is an endearing, insightful story of self-discovery, empowerment, love, and yes, most deliciously, cupcakes..."—Erica Bauermeister, author of THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS

"A heartwarming tale about the yearning for love, the search for happiness and the importance of friendship--all served up with tea and cupcakes."—Lisa Verge Higgins, author of THE PROPER CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF FRIENDSHIP

"With writing reminiscent of Maeve Binchy's, Meaney is carving out a niche for herself in this crowded market."—Irish Examiner

"Repeatedly and deservedly likened to Maeve Binchy, she is a master of her craft and a gifted storyteller. She has outdone herself with a skillful plot, memorable characters and the ability to leave the reader wanting more. If you are a Binchy fan, I would highly recommend you get to know Meaney too."—Irish Independent

About the Author

Roisin Meaney was born in Listowel, Co Kerry, Ireland. She has lived in the US, Canada, Africa, and Europe. In 2002, Roisin won the Tivoli Write a Bestseller competition with her first novel, The Daisy Picker, which was subsequently followed by Putting Out Stars. Roisin is currently based in Limerick. LIFE DRAWING FOR BEGINNERS is her seventh book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: 5 Spot (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455504084
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455504084
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,718,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In 1977 Roisin Meaney finished a sentence and won a car. The sentence was 'I would like to win a Ford Fiesta because my father won't let me drive his.' In the 24 years that followed she wrote a lot more sentences and won a lot more prizes. In 2001 she finally decided to keep writing sentences until she filled a book. Since then she's written ten adult novels and two children's books. Her work has been translated into German, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch and Italian. Two of her books have also been published in the US: Semi-Sweet (previously Love in the Making) and Life Drawing for Beginners (previously The Things We Do for Love).

Six of Roisin's novels have made it into the Irish bestseller list, with The Last Week of May (2007) and The People Next Door (2008) securing the number one and two slots respectively.

Her tenth novel, After the Wedding, was published in Ireland by Hachette Books in March of this year and her next, Two Fridays in April, is due for release early next year. For more information see www.roisinmeaney.com, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @roisinmeaney

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
A delightful book and a quick read.
Book Him Danno
Each layer of revelation enriches the story, making it more textured and colorful.
Pete Gerhard
Yes, it left the reader wanting, but perhaps wanting a little too much?
Alexys Sweeney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chelsey Lynn on September 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
This story is made up of a cast of characters who each come from diverse backgrounds and some are on a quest to find themselves, while others just need to feel a sense of belonging. Audrey Matthews, the lead character of the story, decides to start a class for beginners in life drawing. Yes, life drawing is one of those classes where a nude model stands, sits, or poses in the center of the classroom and everyone sketches what they see. Some of the characters know nothing about drawing and some just need a place to get away from reality for awhile. All in all they are a pretty interesting gang of characters and no story is better than the next, they are all fascinating!

This was another of the books in which I had never read the author's previous works before. I was just very intrigued by the premise of the book and decided to contact the author for a review copy. Roisin's writing has a habit to just flow, and that is always positive in the eyes of this reader! Her language and fluency were so vivid. She really knows how to tell a story. Let me give you a brief example of the elegance evoked in her writing. This quote comes from the main character, Audrey, when she is thinking of the oncoming winter months. "The thought of the winter months ahead didn't alarm her. Winter brought big coal fires and deliciously spicy curries and rich meaty stews, or bowls of steaming soup to dip soft floury rolls into" (page 20). Her writing just constantly jumped off the page at me!

This story is told from the perspective of each character. So the voice changes every two pages or so and we see into the life of one character at a time. However, the way that this novel is written makes it very easy to understand.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jrose on September 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Life Drawing for Beginners was a great read -quick and fun, with engaging characters. I cared about these characters and caught myself thinking about them while going about my day, wondering what would happen to them. As corny as it sounds, I laughed and I cried with them! That's not to say that all the characters are likeable. I found myself angry with one while pitying another, but that's like in life, isn't it? These characters and their inner dialogue stopped the book from being too sweet, and gave it its breathe of realism. The one thing I found a bit disappointing was that the ending was too quick for my taste; I would have preferred to have a bit more time with the characters as their stories were wrapping-up. And one of the story lines doesn't wrap-up at all -we just never hear about the character again. I suppose this also mimics reality -we don't always get closure, after all- but I guess I hope for closure in my fiction, at least. All in all, I highly recommend this book or anyone looking for a good story about a diverse group of people coming together for a diversion, and whose lives intersect -meaningfully- in more ways than one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book Him Danno on September 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
When I finished this book I really wanted to learn to draw. I realize that wasn't the author's original intention when she wrote the novel, but it is an interesting result all the same. She presented a fun book of adults coming together over an activity that I felt a longing for the activity itself. That is pretty powerful stuff.

Ms. Meany brings together a large cast of diverse strangers in an almost farcical way over the course of several weeks to give us touching stories of love, confidence, heartbreak, redemption, and all the other emotions you can think of. It demonstrates the possibilities of growth if we just allow ourselves to open up to the human experience. For the characters in this novel that avenue is life drawing; the drawing of the human form.

It shows the power of art when we brought into our lives by someone who really cares, who is enthusiastic in spite of the set backs life can offer. It speaks to all of us of the need to find our creative outlet as a means of dealing with our stress. For some that may mean a life drawing class, or pottery, or cooking, or in this case, good literature. Do yourself a favor and pick up this book for inspiration and who knows where it will take you.

A delightful book and a quick read. Me? I was inspired to buy sketching pencils and start watching instructional videos on YouTube after reading.
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