Listen to a sample

What to expect

‘This isn’t a book you read, but a book you step into . . . mesmerising’ Emma Gannon

Since the death of her best friend Grace, twenty-six-year-old Eve has learned to keep everything and everyone at arm’s length. Safe in her detachment, she scrapes along waiting tables and cleaning her shared flat in exchange for cheap rent, finding solace in her small routines.

But when a chance encounter at work brings her past thundering into her present, Eve becomes consumed by painful memories of Grace. And soon her precariously maintained life begins to unravel: she loses her job, gets thrown out of her flat, and risks pushing away the one decent man who cares about her.

Taking up life-modelling to pay the bills, Eve lays bare her body but keeps hidden the mounting chaos inside her head. When her self-destructive urges spiral out of control, she’s forced to confront the traumatic event that changed the course of her life, and to finally face her grief and guilt.

Perfect for fans of Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends, Raven Leilani’s Luster, and Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation.

Critics Review

  • This isn’t a book you read, but a book you step into. Chloe Ashby has created a mesmerising and energetic world of grief, art and self discovery. I loved Eve and spending time with her on every page.

    Emma Gannon, author of Olive
  • An utterly absorbing story of art, friendship, love, and loss. Perfect for fans of Anna Hope’s Expectation but very much its own tender, dark, funny, vivid thing.

    Lydia Ruffles, author of The Taste of Blue Light
  • In this poised, heartfelt debut, Ashby paints a raw, richly-detailed portrait of untethered youth, friendship and suppressed grief.

    Olivia Sudjic, author of Asylum Road
  • Dark, witty and totally compelling.

    Laura Kay, author of The Split
  • Wet Paint is a brilliant, heart-rending novel that explores grief and loss with expert precision. Beautifully written and exquisitely told, this story is delicate, powerful and honest all at once. This is an unforgettable novel, and I’ll read anything Chloe Ashby writes.

    Lucia Osborne-Crowley, author of My Body Keeps Your Secrets
  • Poignant, at times heart-wrenching, but liberally sprinkled with dry wit. This is a novel about grief, trauma and life-saving relationships. What I liked most about it is that even as Eve spiralled and struggled with loss, guilt and depression, she had people in her life who never gave up on her, so I closed this book feeling warm and hopeful

    Jendella Benson, author of Hope & Glory

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to get tailored content recommendations, product updates and info on new releases. Your data is your own: we commit to protect your data and respect your privacy.