We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

The next morning Alma showed up with his tin case of pencils and his sketchbooks. She showed him through to the sitting room. She had an idea that a sitting was a formal occasion and in preparation had gone around the room straightening cushions and pulling off furnishing covers. She had dressed herself up in her Sunday best, a black skirt and red blouse. She had been toying with putting a flower in her hair.

Long ago, when the men were away at the war, Alma began painting the women of the town. 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 to improve the view for her – with a spade and wheelbarrow.

Now, decades later, the townspeople, looking to escape various corners of despair, turn to Alma’s drawing classes and, in doing so, learn to rediscover each other. 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.


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