Friday, July 1, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Pictures of You

Title: Pictures of You

Author: Caroline Leavitt

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

RRP: $27.99

ISBN: 9781742377124

Release Date: June 2011

Pages: 464


A gripping, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting novel about the lives that must go on and the questions left unanswered when someone dies.


'Caroline Leavitt plumbs the depths of grief and forgiveness in the lovely Pictures of You.' - Vanity Fair

At once heartbreaking and uplifting, this is a story of love - love lost, love wished for, love misunderstood.

In one unforgettable moment, four lives are changed forever. As one woman runs from her past, another tries to escape her future; a young boy holds close a terrible secret; and a father does everything he can to protect him.

Two cars collide on a foggy highway, killing one of the drivers. The survivor, Isabelle, is left to pick up the pieces, not only of her own life but of the lives of the devastated husband and fragile son that the other woman, April, has left behind. Together, they try to solve the mystery of where April was running to, and why. As these three lives intersect, the book asks, how well do we really know those we love - and how do we forgive the unforgivable?


Caroline Leavitt is the award-winning author of eight novels. Her essays and stories have been included in New Yorker magazine, Psychology Today, More, Parenting, Redbook, and Salon. She's She's a book reviewer for the Boston Globe and People, and a writing instructor at UCLA online. For more information about Caroline and her previous novels, see


Like capturing the world through the lens of a camera, the author shows us bits and pieces of the characters. We catch a glimpse here, with some shadowing; then we see something illuminated; and finally, when we see the whole, it is transformed. But then again, we see the focus shifting.

In this extraordinary and mesmerizing tale, we first meet the women whose lives intersect tragically on a foggy night on the Cape, three hours from their homes. Coincidentally, the two women have been living in the same town, but like ships passing in the night, haven't connected. Then, out of nowhere, the driver of one car comes upon another car stopped in the middle of the road, and the impact is unavoidable.

Very well written and believable. The characters are easy to connect with, and there are enough surprises to keep you turning the pages to find out what is going to happen next.

Two women collide while driving on a snowy highway, each one emotionally impaired, and both leaving their spouses. One has been dumped by her husband for a younger woman, the other has had an argument with her husband and it is not clear to the reader at this point anyway, where she is going or for how long and what her plans are. One of these women does not survive the crash, and a small boy is a witness. Is what he sees what really happened? You’ll have to read the book to find out, sorry ;)

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