Tuesday 6 December 2016

Review: The Things we do For Love by Roisin Meaney

Hodder Ireland, €14.99, Paperback

Published 16/04/2011 | 05:00

Roisin Meaney's latest novel is probably her most complex. Chapter by chapter she weaves in and out of her characters' lives, captivating readers with their stories.

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Audrey Matthews offers an evening class in life drawing, which is quite a shock to some in Carraikbawn. She hires a model and recruits six students, and the classes get under way.

First to arrive is handsome Zarek, who has just moved to Ireland from Poland. For friends Meg, Anna and Fiona the class is a welcome distraction: Anna's husband has just left her for a younger woman; Fiona has to face up to the reason why she can't tell her husband she's pregnant and Meg rallies around her friends, forgetting what is going on in her own life.

There's the mysterious northern James, who is looking for a new start for himself and his daughter Charlie.

Love is the last thing on his mind until Charlie's best friend asks her to go on a play date. Something changes for him over a hot chocolate in the rain. Then there's Irene who arrives in with bags of confidence and seems to have everything going for her. A beautiful home, a handsome, successful husband and the perfect daughter. So why does she feel it's not enough?

Audrey, the teacher, has fallen in love . . . but will the brusque pet-shop owner put her off? One thing is for sure, life-drawing class has begun. And so their estranged lives begin to piece together. This is a feelgood book you won't be able to put down.

-- lq

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