Family Pictures Review
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Unabridged Audiobook: 8 CDs (10 hours)
Read by Amy Quint

It’s easy to look at the people around us and see perfection: the woman who always seems put together, the one who has a brood of neat, well-behaved children and a sweet, devoted husband. But nobody—and no family—is perfect, as you’ll soon discover in the audio version of Jane Green’s family drama Family Pictures.

Family Pictures is the story of two mothers and two daughters. Widowed in her twenties and left alone to care for her daughter, Eve, Sylvie has found happiness again with her loving husband, Mark. But Sylvie’s world isn’t a perfect one. Eve’s refusal to eat more than a bite or two at a time is making her increasingly worried. And Mark travels so much for business that Sylvie’s starting to wonder if he’s having an affair.

Maggie, meanwhile, has the perfect high-society life. She worked hard to get where she is: rich and fabulous and highly respected by the other wives. But when her daughter, Grace, meets Sylvie’s daughter, Eve, through mutual friends, all four of their lives are thrown completely off-balance.

Family Pictures is a captivating story about four women who are brought together under unbelievable circumstances. It’s a story about the different ways that the characters handle their situation—how it causes them all pain yet, at the same time, also causes them to grow stronger and more confident in themselves.

While the story brings up a lot of questions, it doesn’t really focus its attention on the how or the why of the shocking series of events that plays out in the background. The lack of answers may be frustrating at times, but that’s not the point. The story isn’t really about what happens to these women; it’s about how they react as they struggle to deal with the fallout.

Still, not all of the characters are equally represented. Sylvie gets the most attention in the beginning—before the big secret is revealed—while Maggie gets more of the focus later in the novel. Eve gets a little bit of development, while Grace is mostly just mentioned in passing. But while the characters’ stories may not be perfectly balanced, each one is still so fascinating that you’ll find yourself driving around the block an extra time or two and listening for a little longer while parked in the garage, eager to see how the characters handle the changes and challenges that they face.

Family Pictures isn’t a flawless drama. The setup is admittedly a bit sketchy, and the story is unbalanced. But the diverse characters and their equally diverse reactions to their situation will keep you absorbed in the story. And listening to it might even give you just a little more strength to handle the tests and trials of your own less-than-perfect life.

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