Author(s): Lloyd Jones
Once, long ago when the men were away at the war, Alma began painting portraits of the women of the town in lieu of payment for catching all the rats. His special favourite was Alice, who returned his attentions. Her husband George came home from the war, and set out to prove his love and reclaim his wife by shifting a hill with a wheelbarrow to improve the view.
Now, decades later, Alma's 'in lieu of' payment is revived so that an abandoned mother living in a depressed town can make her way. For the other townspeople looking to escape various corners of despair, drawing classes provide the answer. For when you draw, the only thing that matters is what lies before you. First published 2004.
review copy, browning