Saturday, 30 June 2012

Review - Life Class by Gilli Allan

As beautifully written as her novel Torn.   My review of Torn can be found here. 

Life Class is centred around an adult art class where a group of artists with various abilities and backgrounds are trying to improve their painting and drawing skills. 

Fran, is married but bored as her husband is constantly under her feet since he retired and her daughter who has just left school has gone off to Thailand, so she tracks down an old boyfriend on the internet.  Her Sister Dory, recently divorced, moved to this village from London and is trying to find a property that she visited as a child and holds memories for her. Stefan, who is the teacher of the class has a history of feeling like he was never good enough for his father who is no longer around and Dom is a young tearaway who Stefan takes pity on as his family are no good and Stefan wants to help him and encourage him to develop his skills and give him a chance of a good future.

All have their own separate and very different issues but they all inter link with each other.

This is gentle, lovely story and Gilli Allan has such a fabulous way of writing, that you really do feel like you're there with the characters on the outskirts of the book looking in and sharing their most intimate secrets.  I had great difficulty putting it down, the pages seemed to turn themselves as I became engrossed in the wonderfully developing plot. 

It had a lovely ending which really put a smile on my face and gave me a really fantastic feel good factor for the rest of the day.  It also made me think about things that people want from their lives, and that it's important to be doing something that you enjoy.  Also that it's never too late to try to do something that you've always wanted to but never quite got round to doing for one reason or another.  (I think I'd better start making a list!)

Delightful characters, charming places and colourful scenes made this a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and was sad that it had to come to an end.  I could have continued to read about these people all day long!

I was really pleased to interview Gilli as she launched Life Class and that interview can be found here. 
Gilli Allan started to write novels in childhood. She went to Croydon Art College when she left school and went on to do a variety of jobs including shop assistant, beauty consultant, barmaid and working in property. She was happiest in her favourite job which was as a commercial artist. She started to write again when she stopped work to have her son and Torn is her third novel.

You can buy Life Class via Amazon by clicking here.


Gilli Allan said...

Thank you so much, Kim. It's a delight to have you read and review my books. We seem to be on the same wave-length and you really 'get' what I'm trying to say.

You've made my weekend - if not my week / month / year!


Sheryl said...

What a lovely, FAB review. Well done, Gilli. I come from an art and craft background myself. Love the cover when I first clapped eyes on it - and the blurb. Bought it and look forward to reading it - especially after Kim's review! GOOD LUCK!! :) x

Jenny Twist said...

Great review. I've just read Torn and loved it, and I'm about to read Life Class. Can't wait.

Miriam Wakerly said...

This review makes the book sound so tempting - which I am sure it is; so Life Class is now on my list of books to be read and enjoyed.

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