Book Review – Family Pictures by Jane Green
November 12, 2014
New York Times bestseller Jane Green delivers a riveting novel about two women whose lives intersect when a shocking secret is revealed.
From the author of Another Piece of My Heart comes the gripping story of two women who live on opposite coasts but whose lives are connected in ways they never could have imagined. Both women are wives and mothers to children who are about to leave the nest for school. They’re both in their forties and have husbands who travel more than either of them would like. They are both feeling an emptiness neither had expected. But when a shocking secret is exposed, their lives are blown apart. As dark truths from the past reveal themselves, will these two women be able to learn to forgive, for the sake of their children, if not for themselves?
I loved the first Jane Green book I read several years ago (Bookends), and she has been on my radar since. I did not love the last book of hers I read (Swapping Wives), but I was still optimistic when I picked this book up on audio from the library. I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn’t get into it.
First of all, the reader can figure out the big secret early on, but it takes Green forever to cut to the chase of what the entire book is based upon. The beginning drags on forever, and I almost gave up on the book completely. Not only that, but the secret is so completely far-fetched that the reader is forced into the same eye roll that some of the romantic scenes elicited.
Green throws in several ancillary characters which had the potential to contribute, but she didn’t take the time to fully develop them, and their stories were essentially lost – particularly that of Sylvie’s mom. I thought the plot surrounding Sylvie’s daughter Eve was interesting and educational, and I think Green could have sent a strong message about the issue of eating disorders if she had pursued that in greater depth. On the flip side, I did appreciate that Green created female leads that were capable of being strong and independent without the help of a man.
Overall, I think there are far stronger books out there in the same genre. Save your enjoyment for another book on your TBR list!