Family Pictures by Jane Green
Betrayal, hope and forgiveness create a trilogy of emotional issues that Green (The Beach House, 2008, etc.) explores in her latest work.
Sylvie and Maggie are located on opposite sides of America. They are totally unaware that the other exists until summer camp brings their daughters together. Sylvie is a stay-at-home mom at the request of her husband. She focuses on raising her young daughter Eve, from her first marriage, and making their home a haven from work pressures. Maggie is a socialite mom and works hard at maintaining the pretense that she has it all, while raising her three kids. Maggie’s daughter, Grace and Sylvie’s daughter, Eve meet through a facebook acquaintance after camp one summer. Eve is invited to Connecticut with a friend and writes Grace that she is coming. They have only met on facebook so neither knows what to expect. Eve and Grace hit it off and Grace invites Eve to her house for the remainder of the weekend. Their world is torn apart during the visit and the remainder of the book deals with the reconstruction of both families. Sylvie and Maggie are both challenged to find ways to keep their families intact. Both women dig deep and find that they are stronger than they first thought. Their children grow up and time passes but an act of forgiveness and reconciliation is still needed. Green adds a twist to a classic tale of two women cleaning up the mess with her look at the healing powers of forgiveness. As the book progresses, the reader is drawn into the lives of two families who must first heal separately and then turn to the other to complete the process.
An engrossing story that begins with the commonplace and ends with a satisfying twist.