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  • Charcoal & Putty Rubbers

    This is a wonderful tale of a group of disparate characters brought together for an adult life drawing class. Not only are we invited in to their lives as the class progresses but also one or two peripheral characters that are somehow inexorably entwined in the tale. There is no overt laying down of many of the characters but somehow you "get" them as they unfold on the page. I'm not quite sure exactly how Ms Meaney achieves this but there is a clarity of purpose such that plot and character flow effortlessly on to the page and you feel somehow as if you are viewing the whole tale rather than reading it. There are no overtly contrived scenes to move the plot along but there are things that are glaringly obvious from the get go - like Audrey's burgeoning romance, right from the get go you know how that one will turn out. The characters that populate the pages are a good rang of age and personality type with all of them having their own secrets, of the mainly small variety it must be said - just as flesh and blood people do and this is something that is often missed in paper and ink people. What amazed me was how much I enjoyed a book that is, essentially, about nothing. The plot really is just everyday life and it is entirely charming and believable. The nastinesses of life are never overlooked so there are harsh things that happen (or happened in the past but have indelibly affected the character) to some of the characters but this just adds to the fullness of time and place. If you can't tell I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to raiding the back catalogue of this particular author.

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