Still Life by L.T. Smith
Funny, realistic but fanciful and quintessentially British in humor.
After breaking off her relationship with a female lothario, Jess Taylor decides she doesn’t want to expose herself to another cheating partner. Staying at home, alone, suits her just fine. Her idea of a good night is an early one—preferably with a good book. Well, until her best friend, Sophie Harrison, decides it’s time Jess rejoined the human race.
Trying to pull Jess from her self-imposed prison, Sophie signs them both up for a Still Life art class at the local college. Sophie knows the beautiful art teacher, Diana Sullivan, could be the woman her best friend needs to move on with her life.
But, in reality, could art bring these two women together? Could it be strong enough to make a masterpiece in just twelve sessions? And, more importantly, can Jess overcome her fear of being used once again?
Jess and Diana are both women with complex, painful and damaging pasts. The difference - one realises she has been damaged and the other doesn’t. L.T. Smith makes a wonderful melodrama from the misunderstandings, miscommunication and mistakes we all make when we meet the woman of our dreams but live inside a cage made or fear.
The writing is sharp and witty. Very British humour and language so you Americans need to be prepared. L.T.’s style is down to earth, direct and realistic. When Brits are full of angst you really know it. The writing flows and the story weaves around us, playing on the stupid mind games we all go through with often hilarious results. Of course that’s easy to say as a reader, much harder when it is your heart on the line.
L.T. makes her characters come alive. As well as the main pair she has created a lovely ensemble cast with best friends, brothers, aunts and parents that we will all recognise - actually many of of will wish we had. The subplots and side bars round out the tale of real life among real people. And to bring in a balance we have the evil ex and the cold, distant and judgemental parents.
This is a great book, a roller coaster ride, silly, funny, realistic but fanciful. Quintessentially British in its humour - universal in touching the ‘does she - doesn't she’ insecurities we all suffer.