Long ago, when the men were away at the war, Alma began painting the women of the town. They sat for him in lieu of payment for his work catching rats. 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 - wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow - for her. Now, decades later, Alma's 'in lieu of' payment is revived, and the townspeople, looking to escape various corners of despair, turn to drawing classes. 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.