Tuesday 11 September 2018
The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman
I loved this novel! It's a beautifully written romantic story that has so much more to it.
Nina is a young woman from a rich family who chooses to teach as a way of giving something back to society. She doesn't feel as though she's a good teacher and struggles with her classes. Meanwhile she meets Colin, a college drop out who is a brilliant artist, painting theatre scenery and making temporary art by drawing in chalk.
Twins Aidan and Diana are students at the school where Nina teaches. Aidan used to be a top student but is being drawn increasingly into the world of computer games, particularly by Daphne a woman he meets online in one of his games.
The characters are very well drawn, the reader feels really engaged by each of the characters' dilemmas and also sucked into the game world that is so addictive to Aidan. The novel also dissects the world of computer games very well, addressing concerns about gaming addiction without condemning gaming itself. It also gives interesting insights into teaching literature, which I found particularly interesting as a creative writing tutor.
Can the real world compete with the carefully contrived, beautifully imagined virtual world?
The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman, published 2017 by Atlantic Books