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Synopsis

Long ago, when the men were away at the war, Alma began painting the women of the town. They sat for him in lieu of payment for his work catching rats. Alice, his favourite, returned his attentions, and when her husband, George, came home from the war, he set out to prove his love and reclaim his wife by moving a hill—wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow—for her.

Now, decades later, Alma's 'in lieu of' payment is revived, and the townspeople, looking to escape various corners of despair, turn to drawing classes. For when you draw, the only thing that matters is what lies before you.

Paint Your Wife is a colourful, sensual novel, brimming with rich stories and even richer characters.

Lloyd Jones's best-known novel is Mister Pip, which won the 2007 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the 2008 Kiriyama Prize Fiction Category and the 2008 Montana Fiction Award. It was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and has been made into a major feature film, directed by Andrew Adamson (Shrek and Narnia). His other books include Hand Me Down World, The Book of Fame - which won the Deutz Medal for Fiction at the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the Tasmania Pacific Fiction Prize - Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance and Biografi. He has also published a collection of short stories, The Man in the Shed, and an acclaimed memoir, A History of Silence. Lloyd Jones lives in Wellington.

‘The writing reminded me a lot of Anne Tyler–it will be enjoyed by fans of domestic, community drama, but made all the more fascinating and unique because its observations are from within the male perspective.’ bookbrowse.com

‘A gentle, whimsical book…Jones's writing is easy and sophisticated, reminding me of Steinbeck at his humorous best...the whole fanciful sprawl is a delight.’ Age

‘Jones’ deep affection for his characters and the light, anecdotal touch with which he nudges them away from despair makes for a warm and original entertainment.’ Kirkus Reviews, STARRED Review

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