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19 February 2013 / getrus

Family Pictures — Jane Green

fam-picI received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy from Goodreads.

It has been a while since I have reviewed an advanced copy.  A couple of years, actually.  I reviewed a couple of books a year from 2008-2010.  Some I liked and some I absolutely hated.  Although, I will admit if it wasn’t for an advanced reader copy I received for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, I never would have fallen in love with Flavia de Luce. (Word of warning– review to come of his new mystery that just came out involving Flavia.)

Anyway,  before receiving this ARC I had never read anything by Jane Green.  I had heard of her and read some good reviews for her books and thought about reading one or two.  (And I did before this one came.)  This book is not something I would normally read.  It is a bit too chick-lit for me.  The premise of the story, however, was interesting.

Sylvie thinks she has a perfect life.  She has a husband whom she loves, even if he isn’t around all the time.  He travels a lot for his work, being away weeks at a time.  She has a daughter who is about to leave home; graduating from high school and wanting to attend college in New York instead of California near her parents.  Then we have Sylvie’s mother, Clothilde.  Not exactly a mother figure, but blood is blood.

And then there is Maggie.  Mother of three teenagers who attends teas and charity events in Connecticut.  She has the perfect house, the perfect husband, and also manages to host events amazingly.  She is the quintessential New England Trophy Wife.

But after things come out, both of their lives are turn upside down.  Neither is able to go on living the life they are used to and their families are changed forever.

Jane Green weaves a story of family, trust, and forgiveness which grabs at your heart and reminds you how important certain things are.  While I will admit it was well written and interesting.  The ending was one which I knew was coming.  It screamed at me from the beginning of the book, practically even before I started  it.  I guess someone has to have a somewhat happy ending.

Overall, I really didn’t like it.  I don’t know if it was the way she wrote about the characters, or perhaps it was the storyline, it seemed too contrived, too ‘I am woman, hear me roar.’  Or possibly it could just be it is not my style.

*** 1/2 (Three and a Half Stars)

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