Saturday, June 29, 2013

review: family pictures by jane green

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Although she lost her husband when their daughter was small, Slyvie thought she’d had an amazing life with her second husband Mark for the last 11 years. Slyvie never questioned that he was gone for two weeks every month or that he was extremely paranoid about social networking and family trips to the east coast. Jane Green set this up so obviously that it was no surprise when Mark’s other family—a wife of 25 years plus three kids—was revealed, but it took a long time to get to it.

When I read Bookends back in the early 2000s, I knew I'd found a new favorite author. The books that were published in the late 90s and early 00s were much in the same vein as Bookends, but then there was a shift in Green's writing around the time she moved from England to the US. She aged up her characters and began writing about family dramas. I feel like she started trying to be too serious, but instead her books have become more over the top while also being fairly predictable. One of the most annoying things is that her characters are now supposed to be American, but they constantly use British phrases (though this book is better about that than previous ones). Though neither of Mark’s wives came across as likable, Family Pictures was enjoyable as their respective teen daughters were painted much warmer; however, it is not the same quality of work Green did previously.
Review copy from Amazon Vine.

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