A Line Made By Walking by Sara Baume – review

A young woman combats her depression by moving to the countryside in this finely calibrated, affecting novel

This is, explicitly, a book about art and “sadness”, but it is neither affected nor mawkish. When its narrator, 25-year-old art student Frankie, hacks off her hair in response to her grandmother’s death, her not uncaring mother’s first thought is for her shears. “‘It knackers them if you use them on anything that isn’t fabric,’ she said.”

Frankie’s grandmother has been dead for three years when Irish writer Sara Baume’s novel begins, but her depression has only lately come to a head. Jacking in her job at a Dublin gallery, she has fled to the country and her grandmother’s empty bungalow to “get better or die altogether”.

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