Family pictures, by Jane Green, was a fast-paced read for me, and a book telling detailing the story of family dynamics.
Sylvie, the main character, is more or less set in her routine, and her life is defined by her daughter, Eve, a child from her first marriage to Jonathan, who is deceased, and defined by Mark, her current husband. Her daughter is set to leave for college, and Sylvie finds herself dwelling on how to cope with the situation. Her house feels empty.
It feels empty more so because her husband Mark is constantly traveling for business. Sylvie has doubts, at times, about Mark’s fidelity, and fantasizes about him being unfaithful. When he returns home or when she hears his voice on the phone she releases her doubts. Her eyes are clouded over, and she can not, or does not, want to see Mark for his true self.
Eve has eating disorders (yes, plural), and Sylvie is trying to contend with those issues as best she can. She is trying to be supportive and her life revolves around getting the medical attention and psychological help that Eve needs.
Eve eventually finds herself in New York City where she meets a young woman named Grace. Grace invites her to her home, and it is there that the family dynamics are thrown into upheaval.
From that day forward, life will never be the same in Sylvie’s household, or the household of Maggie, where the life-altering incident occurred. The reader is taken on a journey of love, anger, depression, obsession and the dysfunctional family interactions of two families. I will not go into detail any further, as the story will be spoiled.
The writing is vivid as far as the word-imagery is concerned. The family dynamics are detailed with concern, love and warmth. The secrets within the pages ring of some incidents depicted in the news that have occurred within the past two or three years. The story line moved along, and was not one that was difficult to become involved in. Jane Green is excellent in depicting families in distress.
The reader is left to ponder marriage life and whether the individuals involved in the relationship truly know each other. Does a comfortable life overcome the realistic interactions of the spouses? Does complacency blind one to the external forces that play havoc on the marriage? These are just two of the questions the reader will find themselves asking while reading Family Pictures.
On a scale of one to five, with five being the highest rating, I would give it a four.