Thursday, January 15, 2015

Family Pictures by Jane Green

I read Jemima J years and years ago, and loved it.  It made me a Jane Green fan.  I haven't read all of her books, but quite a few.  I can say I'm a bit disappointed in Family Pictures.  There.  I said it.  

Family Pictures is about two women:  Sylvie and Maggie.  Sylvie lives in California with her teen daughter Eve, her husband Mark, and a lovely home.  Married eleven years, Sylvie is getting restless, knowing her daughter will be leaving for college soon.  An artistic and creative woman, Sylvie starts making homemade candles to give to her mother, a very narcissistic, demanding woman living in a nursing home.  Her marriage to Mark is good:  he travels to New York every week, and days will go by without Sylvie hearing from him--because he is so darn busy. She has no reason to suspect him of anything, because he is such a good guy.

Maggie lives in Connecticut, has three gorgeous kids, lives in a big house, and has been married to her husband Mark for 25 years.  She's worked hard to put her poor and abusive childhood behind her, and works day and night organizing charity functions, shopping, and looking good.  Her husband travels a lot to California.  Sometimes she can't get a hold of him for days.  But that's ok.  He's a wonderful man.  She's so lucky.

Husband.  Travels. A lot.  Is out of touch frequently.  Duh!!

So it's no surprise to find out Mark is married to the two women.  It all comes tumbling down when Eve visits a Facebook friend in New York, meets Grace (Mark and Maggie's daughter), and gets invited to her house.  And there Eve finds the horrible truth.  Doom, doom doom.

Ok.  There's a lot of stuff going on in this story, but I had a hard time not snorting over the unbelieveable ignorance of both women, and the fantasy lives they both lived.  Seriously! Do people live like this? I'll keep my tiny house, books, and small circle of good friends, thank you very much.  Mark's character just falls out of sight.  Once he's used to move the plot to its pivot point, he's out of the picture.  

I'm not telling you everything about this novel, because there is much more to discover.  I read it in a day, and must admit I had a hard time putting it down because it is such a fantasy world.  Too pat.  So read it for pure escapism and unfortunately, little else.  I will continue to read Jane Green, and hope this is just a one time not so hot novel.  

Rating:  4/10 for an completely unrealistic plot and characters who were just too good to be true.  

Available in paperback and ebook.

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