Monday, April 15, 2013

(29)Family Pictures by Jane Green

Family Pictures

Pages:  352
Publication Date: March 19, 2013



Sylvie has always joked that she has the perfect marriage. Her husband, Mark, travels extensively for work and is only home usually about two weeks out of the month.  Which gives her the alone time with her daughter that she craves and just enough spousal time to keep her from feeling smothered or abandoned.  Their daughter, Eve, is getting ready to head off to college causing an "empty nest" fear in Sylvie that she never expected.  She starts to pressure Mark to give up the excessive traveling and stay home more, the pressure causes some friction between them, but he swears it will be better soon. 

Maggie is exactly the kind of wife you would expect to find in a Connecticut suburb.  She has three popular, nearly perfect kids.  Their beautiful McMansion is the envy of the whole neighborhood. She is highly involved in the social scene in their community and everything that means, including charity work and events at the club.   She drives a Land Rover and her husband, Mark, drives a Porsche.  He travels extensively for work, but because he provides generously for their family she does not give him any grief over his absence.   Unknown to her, one night their daughter, Grace, brings home an online friend who is visiting from the West Coast, Eve.  Eve awakens and is beyond shocked to see the family portrait. Her father, Mark, is in the picture with Grace and her family. 

Family Pictures is a story of two women, two families, and one man. I don't think I am giving anything away by divulging that information.  The book's synopsis gives a pretty good indication as to what happens, but I will say it took nearly half the book to get to that revelation.  The two women are about as different as you can get, yet with the one major thing in common they quickly become acquainted.  I liked how the author illustrated the difference between the two women, and even their children, yet at the same time their are strong similarities between them and especially their daughters, who are battling their own demons.  The story follows their adjustments to their "new normal" and I was very satisfied with the way the story ended, in fact it made me happy. 

Bottom line, I think it is easy and honest for me to say that Jane Green is one of my top favorite authors, if not my absolute favorite.  I have read her books and followed her career ever since Jemima J, which I read so long ago, I barely remember the plot. (and I just purchased the e-book so I can re-read!). That being said, Family Pictures was not my favorite of hers. It is absolutely worth the read, don't get me wrong, but waiting half the book to get to the big "reveal" was a bit frustrating to this impatient reader.

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Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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