Peaks Island, Maine vibrates with its own special magic, a unique flow to life that knits together the small community that calls it home. The people, the animals, and even the houses have a charm and personality all their own. Just ask Rocky Pelligrino. Devastated by her husband Bob’s sudden death, she found hope thanks to a relentlessly loyal black Lab named Cooper. Warm friends and a new job—as the island’s Animal Control Warden—have helped Rocky chart a course toward a promising future. She’s even ready to try at love again with Hill, the gentle and patient archery instructor. And there is an old house haunted by lost love and forgotten secrets that speaks to her soul.
But a phone call from a troubled young woman looking for her biological father shakes Rocky’s newfound joy. Could this young girl hold a tendril of the man who was the love of her life? Or could the girl’s appearance throw Rocky’s world into chaos . . . and shatter her heart again?
Jacqueline Sheehan, Ph.D., is a fiction writer and essayist. She is also a practicing psychologist. She is a New Englander through and through, but spent twenty years living in the western states of Oregon, California, and New Mexico doing a variety of things, including house painting, freelance photography, newspaper writing, clerking in a health food store, and directing a traveling troupe of high school puppeteers.
I wish I could give this book 2.5 stars - I liked it because I'm attached to the characters after reading the first book, but this one wasn't nearly as good. I still like the narrative, setting, characters, etc. and I didn't mind the main focus in this one. However, with the introduction of Natalie, I feel like the author got as swept up with her as Rocky did, and because of it all my favorite characters were given less time in this book. And I just couldn't believe that someone who was supposedly a psychologist and used to dealing with difficult situations would be as stupid as Rocky was in this novel.
I wish that the sequel instead picked up where the first one left off, and we navigated Rocky's life as she continues to figure out how to be a person without her husband. I could have dealt without this major drama revolving around Natalie.
That being said, however, I'm still glad that I read it and it was a decent read. It just didn't live up to the expectations that the first book set.
I guess I'm in the minority here, based on other ratings I've seen of this book. I read it because I read Lost & Found, with the same characters, and one other book by this author. I'm pretty sure I liked Lost & Found better. Anyway, it was okay; it didn't thrill me. I felt the need to finish, not really the desire. Just wanted to get it over with. At one point, I felt like there were too many character POVs but they did tie in at the end. But there really was just too much going on in this book - too many descriptions of everyone's jobs and the variety of jobs. When you read the author's background info, you see that she has held a variety of jobs. Leads me to believe she was trying to cram them all in here too.
I really liked this book's prequel and was excited to read the sequel. I don't want to give this book a less than good rating, but it just didn't hold my attention until 300 pages in (yes, really). This was just way too long, with soo many boring details and psychological babble thrown in. We learn about psychology, archery, physical therapy, animal control, photography.. I could go on. Made it feel very scattered and unfocused. I found Rocky to be very grating and saying the most inane things at the wrong time. The ending was good and the parts about Cooper (the dog) were sweet. I'm not really sure why I finished it but I guess I'm glad I did.
This was a pretty unusual piece of fiction in the sense it contained a host of varied, likeable, and interesting characters (a 39 year old woman, a 7 year old girl, two teenage girls, a 70ish year old woman, a 70ish year old African American man, and of course the hero of the book; a 5 year old labrador retriever) and yet the plot and the story itself were just plain silly.
Picture This is a follow-up to Lost & Found by Jacqueline Sheehan. I love the cast of carry-over characters: Rocky Pelligrino, Melissa (teenaged neighbor), Tess (70-ish friend), Isiah (Rocky's boss), Hill ("friend"), and, of course, Cooper, the 5-year-old black lab is who rescued by Rocky in the first book...or is she rescued by him?
Sheehan introduces Natalie to this story. Natalie, who may or may not be Rocky's deceased husband Bob's daughter, is an 18-year-old who is searching for some answers and ends up on Peaks Island. What an unbalance of energy she brings to the story. All the characters respond differently to her from acceptance from Rocky, who is looking for a link to her husband, to teenage "competition" from Melissa, to Cooper, who is confused by his canine intuition. I was surprised by Rocky, though. As a professional therapist, I expected her to possibly get a better read on Natalie, but it is true that emotions will dominate every time. Besides Cooper, my favorite character was Melissa, the teenage neighbor who battles anorexia and is finding her lot in life. For me, she exhibited the greatest character change and I couldn't help but empathize with her...loved her in this story.
Overall, it was a good read and I look forward to reading more by this author.
Years ago, I had a story in my heart that needed to be told. At a peak moment, one of the people reading the manuscript wrote me to say that if I killed off a certain character, whose life was in peril at the end of the section she'd just read, she'd never forgive me. There were several times while reading this book where I sent that silent message to Jacqueline Sheehan about that big black dog, Cooper.
This book is a sequel to Lost and Found, a book that took me by surprise, and told the story of Rocky, suddenly widowed at a young age, who moved to Peaks Island, Maine, to cope with the loss of her beloved husband and forge a new life for herself. The characters in that novel were particularly vibrant, resonating with the fears, foibles and character flaws we all have, but coming across as people you wish you had with you at your back, as well as your supper table, depending on the need. To join them again was a delight.
Add to the mix a damaged young woman, Natalie, who shows up in Rocky's life, claiming to be the biological daughter of Rocky's deceased husband, and the story takes new turns, both poignant and suspenseful. One really couldn't wish for a better or more supportive group of people than those who surround Rocky. They all are subjected to the emotional storm brought onto the island with the appearance of Natalie. Though there were a few moments where the plot gave me some questions, for the most part, I, too was swept along, carrying the book with me to read while waiting in line at the grocery or when having a cuppa at my favorite coffee place. Once, when I'd left the book in the car, and the sudden spring torrent of rain prevented me from rescuing it, I spent the time online looking at pictures of beautiful Peaks Island.
As you probably gathered, Cooper remains my favorite character -- the perfect therapy dog and guardian angel, wrapped in black fur, and carrying a stick to be tossed and retrieved.
Thank you to Early Readers and William Morrow(imprint of HArper Collins), who sent the book, giving me both some enjoyable reading and an armchair escape to Peaks Island.
I stayed up half the night to finish this one ..l.fell asleep some time after 3... and finished it this am.. Funnily,I almost put it down when I started it, but as the story progressed, I got more and more involved.... a widow, a dog, foster kid, .... I had to know what happened... I could not do a 5 rating because of what I felt was a slow start... now I need to find the first book that this one was the sequel to...
"Picture This" by Jacqueline Sheehan, William Morrow/Harper Collins, ISBN 978-0-06-200812-1: In her novel, "Lost and Found," Rocky Pelligrino changed her life after experiencing what most would call a "crash," - her husband and soulmate, Bob, had died, and Rocky was lost. She found life again through a move to Peaks Island, Maine, and through the adoption of a dog named Cooper.
She started work in a job that most thought she was nuts to take - the island's animal control warden - she had a lot of learning to do, and new friends. Her life mosaic seemed to be completing itself - especially now with the connection she was making with Hill - an archery instructor, and her curiosity about the old house she can't seem to get out of her mind.
She is happy. And in "Picture This," Sheehan takes her story to a new level with a simple phone call. The love of her life may have a long-lost daughter, and this daughter comes looking for Rocky, to find out what the truth is. Rocky is doubtful of the whole thing, but a big part of her wants to believe, and see the goodness in this situation - that perhaps her love had come back to her. But at the same time, could this girl break up the pieces of Rocky's new life puzzle?
"Picture This" is not a mystery. It is not a romance. It is not a comedy. It is not a drama book. It is a sequel, and yet it has each one of this traits mentioned.
"Picture This," may be fictional, but it is an 'everyman's' story - one that the everyday person can relate to, enjoy and will want to share with their friends.
Picture This is the sequel to one of my favorite summer reads from a few years ago: Lost and Found by Jacqueline Sheehan. It is the story of Rocky, a grieving widow, whose husband died suddenly and she goes to Peaks Island off the coast of Portland, Maine to recuperate. She puts her old life on hold, and temporarily becomes the islands game warden where she helps a wounded black Lab, named Cooper, go through a tenuous recovery and he helps her towards her healing. In this book we meet up again with the people on the island that befriended her; including an emotionally fragile teenager that she and Cooper had helped through a difficult time. Rocky is now more settled into island life and is wondering if the time has come to go back to her old life, when another teenager, recently aged out of foster care, turns everything upside down.
These are great characters, interesting, and special and flawed. The author built so much tension into the 2nd half of the book that I couldn’t put it down until I found out what happened. If you love dogs, mysteries and want to spend time visiting Maine you’ll love this novel. There are some psychologically scary moments with children, so be forewarned. I’m glad she wrote a sequel and hope there will be more. Read through the Amazon Vine program.
I quite enjoyed this sequel to Sheehan’s 2007 book, Lost & Found. It’s a fast read - surprisingly so, and though it does not evoke perhaps the same level of tears as the prior novel, this too is quite an emotional read. The overall atmosphere of the book is quite a bit lighter and more hopeful, with less of the crippling grief that previously plagued so many of the characters. Sheehan’s characters remained consistent, with Rocky once again a sympathetic but not quite put together protagonist, leaning quite heavily on her stalwart dog and other faithful friends. Sheehan also retained her shifting points-of-view - this time offering not just the dog, but also even a ramshackle house. The sort of magic of synesthesia appears again, colouring and flavouring the entire book with a sort of magical aura. The plot this time around was much more gripping and towards the peak of the climax, I could hardly believe how close I had scooted to the edge of the couch!
As a sequel, it tied up many loose ends, but enough lingered still at the end of this one, that makes a person wonder if Sheehan has not yet finished telling Rocky’s story...
This was a much more serious and provocative book than I had anticipated. The main theme explores seeing and how we see or don't see other individuals. It's revealed through the eyes of Rocky Pellegrino, and other characters. Rocky is a 39 year old widow, who has barely recovered from the loss of her husband a year earlier. One of her saving graces is Cooper, a black lab that had been shot with an arrow and left for dead. They are devoted to one another, and Cooper is a loving and gentle dog, beloved by most of those who meet him. We share an insight into his awareness of friends and enemies. The story moves through chapters looking at each character's story, and view of life.
She is confronted with her loss again when an eighteen year old Natalie calls looking for her biological father. She sees the potential of having a piece of Bob, and they had been talking of having a child before his sudden heart attack. A product of the foster care system, she leads Rocky to believe that she experienced many bad foster homes and proceeds with an insidious maneuvering into Rocky's life. She was subjected to neglect and sexual abuse in the first couple of homes. But after that she thwarted every good home to which she was sent. As the story progresses and Rocky seeks information from the Maine Foster Care Department intending to find how to help Natalie, she faces the truth that Natalie has had the records hacked and altered. We also know from Natalie, herself, that she has paired up with a dangerous predator hacker/IT nerd, who has also altered her birth certificate which she had presented to Rocky. It had originally listed father as "unknown". Natalie had found information on a R Tilbe, and assumed it was Robert, when it turns out to have been Richard, Robert's estranged uncle who had been a druggie and only later in life successful. Natalie is a confused, mean and damaged young woman who reached the "trigger point" in her life and not turned it around for good but gone in the direction of crime and hate. The Director of the Maine department Ira Levine calmly changes Rocky's attitude about foster care, and shares the Hasidic concept of "Tzadikim Nistarim, that at any given time there are a specific number of people who support the world, or maybe just a village. Their caring and righteousness are what keeps the village alive." He believes that foster care families are some of those people, "who take in damaged, snarling children who have been through hell. They willingly love our throwaway children...they don't that they are holding up the world."
Another member of the island community is Melissa, a high school senior who is recovering from anorexia. She battles her need to stay thin every day, using a camera and her success in her photography class. She also has found a savior in Cooper, and takes him for walks daily and begins a program for possible therapy dogs. She sees Natalie as another teen, and sees the nasty side of her that she is hiding from Rocky. She has seen her in Portland, when she taking pictures with her boyfriend, and their van. She sees Natalie shoplifting. She is also taking risks with taking pictures of the homeless population with their dogs, and realizes as she is taking a picture through the camera she sees something not also there in their faces. One of those friendships with Ryan and his dog Rosie will prove to be a element that saves a life.
Tess and Danielle are other island residents. Tess is 71 and is suffering from the loss of her sense of seeing through synesthesia. When she had emergency surgery she lost her ability. Her granddaughter Danielle has the capability. A completely different way of seeing through color. She and her ex-husband Len will find a new way of experiencing each other in this late part of their lives.
The issue of the beaver population on the island will also present the opposite ways of viewing how to deal with the problem. Each of the elements of the story seems to highlight the different ways that we see each other or problems or refuse to see if we are unable to deal with the issue.
The climax comes when Natalie and Franklin put Natalie's plot into play by kidnapping five-year-old Danielle, who adores Natalie, and taking Cooper. In her leaving Natalie destroys the statue that Caleb, Rocky's brother sculpted. She intends to leave Cooper far from home, thus depriving Rocky of her friend and family. However, she is unaware until they are in the apartment in Portland that Franklin is a predator and is interested in Danielle in ways that Natalie cannot condone, having been sexually abused at the age of five. She knocks him out and leaves a drugged Danielle in the apartment. In the end, she cannot go through with the ransom and calls Rocky to reveal where Danielle is. At the same time Cooper who has walked risky miles has been found by Ryan and Rosie and is in the same area. When he senses Rocky is nearby and also Danielle, he rushes to lead the police to the little girl.
Natalie is gone, and will no doubt find anonymity with the multiple travel and identity documents that Franklin had created. If she were to return she would be arrested and jailed for her part in the kidnapping. Rocky who has been fed bits of innuendo against Hill Johnson, her archery teacher and new love, and has finally decided to quit her job as therapist with the university in Massachusetts, has also bought the Costello House. She has been renovating it with the intention of living there It has a checkered history, the last of which involved a man grieving the loss of his life who commits suicide by shooting himself. Rocky is able to look beyond that tragedy to the love and care of the other families who had lived there. In the end she decides she is not meant to live there. She takes the additional inheritance of millions from Bob's uncle and purchase the adjoining acreage on which a fabulous wisteria blooms, and builds another house, both houses which become respite homes for foster families to use for vacations.
We see that she has come full circle of finding peace and love after her loss.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Loved this one. You want to wrap your arms around the characters when they are going through a rough patch and celebrate their good times with more friends and family. Heck, you want them to BE your friends and family. Although this book is a sequel to Lost & Found (which I have not read), Picture This works well as a stand-alone. Moving to a small island off Maine's coast to grieve the death of her husband, Rocky goes from being a summer tourist to a full-time resident while contemplating the fact that her husband may've fathered a child prior to their marriage. The young woman who appears at Rocky's door with this news is just the thing to help Rocky get on with her life, a purpose she didn't realize she needed. But is the woman who she says she is? When Rocky's black lab, Cooper, doesn't get along with the woman, that was the sign for me because really, who doesn't like or (is liked by) labs? There is heartache, romance, joy, and melancholy galore plus glorious descriptions of the island's geography. Buy this book--you won't regret it.
I didn't realize that Lost & Found even had a sequel so I was pleasantly surprised to find this one. Rocky is still the Animal Control Warden on Peaks Island, Maine though she is unsure whether or not she'll return to her home and job back in Massachusetts. Just like the first book, right off the bat there is major action and a bit of mystery. The first chapter is told through Natalie, who is the new character who calls Rocky and tells her that she is trying to find her biological father named Robert Tilbe, Rocky's now deceased husband's name. Oh boy. Rocky is torn in many directions as you can imagine. Just as she was starting to get it all together with her life, there is this new person who may or may not be her "step daughter" and huge link to the man she still misses every single day. Lloyd, the black Lab, is ever present and as usual has much to teach us humans if only we would listen. Since I really cared about Rocky after the first book, it was great to reconnect with her in this just-as-good-as-the-first-one sequel.
This is a great sequel to Lost & Found, which was also a great book. There's a quirky cast of characters in this series and a strange sub-plot or tow that keep the plot exciting up to the end. Lost & Found begins with the sudden death of the main character's husband and her inability to "do life" as a psychologistand now widow of a great veteranarian. She suddenly decides to move to a small island off the coast of Portland Maine. She rents a cottage and begins to try to live life in this new form. Who she meets and what she does to attempt to find her place is quite interesting. In Picture This, the story continues with one especially bizarre new character and what this person will mean to Rocky's life now, b/c this person may be related to her dead husband. Good series with a little bit of everything in it. I hope there will be another book in this series.
PICTURE THIS brings back Rocky Pelligrino and her Peak’s Island community first met in Sheehan’s bestseller, LOST AND FOUND. The author’s fascination with using psychology to develop strong and complicated characters is back too, and this is a page-turner of a story. Rocky is contacted by Natalie, just out of foster care and convinced she’s the unacknowledged daughter of Rocky’s late husband, Bob. Or is she? Sheehan’s fourth novel is both an exciting read and a profound exploration of the damage done to childhood, the nature of evil, and the difficulty of knowing what is true.
This was about a 2.75 for me overall. I always love the character of Cooper, but unlike the first book, the main focus wasn't on the relationship between Rocky and Cooper. There were too many points of view, not all of which advanced the story; also, the dialogue was stilted at times. There were some good parts that kept me reading, but there were also times when I contemplated not finishing it.
The first two books in the Peaks Island series were incredible!
I read both books back to back. I couldn't put them down. Since the setting is where I live (western MA) and where I spent many summers (Casco Bay in Maine) I could almost visualize everything as it unfolded. The characters were wonderful and some tragic. Tess was exactly like an old woman I knew well in Rockport, ME. Melissa's struggle with an eating disorder in the first book, Rocky's struggle to survive her grief and Natalie's abuse and mental breakdown in the second were gripping. This book wasn't my usual happily ever after story, but I'm glad I read it. I wanted more of a storyline with Hill, but was satisfied in the end.
I grabbed this sequel quickly after the first book, and enjoyed reading it as a psychological suspense novel using multiple points of view to develop some real peril for characters I cared about. I found it a little frustrating as a sequel, though. It moved quite far into pure action/psychological suspense, and away from women's fiction or romance. The author dramatizes some of the damage that can be done by long-term foster care and neglectful parenting, which she clearly has some knowledge of. Don't look for sentimentality, because there isn't much. Still, I have to give props to anyone who can write a convincing point of view for this many characters -- and even a dog.
This is a great read if you love dogs, how complicated we as humans are and island life. Rocky, her dog Cooper, her friend Tess and neighbor teen Melissa form an unusual pack. During the summer their pack expands to include 7 yr old Danielle, Tess’s granddaughter, and Natalie an 18 year old freshly dumped out of the foster care system. Natalie had experienced more trauma than any child should and it has altered her ability to relate to other people. She’s searching for her father and thinks Rocky’s recently deceased husband abandoned her. How each of these characters relate to each other is fascinating, as is what they choose to see and not see about each other and themselves.
This book is truly a 3 1/2 for me. I loved, loved Cooper and liked the characters of this novel although I found myself irritated by Rocky much of the time finding it hard to believe a psychologist could be so rash and impulsive in her decisions and judgements. This is the first book I’ve read by this author so though I expected a more centrally focused story, this novel explored some diverse topics. Synesthesia, aging out of the foster care system and grieving are some of the topics. It’s a diverse group but the author weaves them together pretty well.
I read this after enjoying the first book (Lost & Found) and enjoyed it, though not as much as the first book. I like Rocky and Melissa and Tess and many of the other characters, and I liked the overall storyline until Natalie went off the rails. The backstories of Natalie’s time in a drug world, foster care, and her time with Franklin were too much. Cooper was my favorite in the story and I loved his chapters in the book!
I loved the 2nd book of this series. I am not sure there are more, but I would love to read more about Rocky and Cooper and all the characters that make up these books. Cooper is of course an amazing dog, and his nose, common sense, loyalty and all around amazing ability to understand humans makes him of course, a favorite character of mine. I found this books perusing the massive sale at our library, I wasn't even looking for it, so glad I was able to read the 2nd one.
I was so happy to be able to revisit the characters from LOST AND FOUND. The only part I didn't buy was when the main character made the mistake of allowing an unknown young girl move into her cottage until they could "figure out" if she (the girl), was the biological daughter of the main character's husband-is anyone really this dumb? If she had been smarter about it there would not have been a book. An enjoyable read anyway.
I was excited to read this because I liked Lost and Found, and this is the sequel. But I was disappointed. I felt like the characters that I knew and loved in Lost and Found were 'Gone with the Wind.' LOL Just not much character development.
The new person, Natalie, was pretty confusing to me. By the end of the book I wasn't sure what was truth and what counted as lies coming from her. With that, I was left with things that I didn't understand at all.
A well-written story with credible characters the author developed beautifully. Definitely more drama in the 2nd book of the series which was a great thing! The author leaves the reader guessing as to what is the truth, and what isn't, and the true discerner of what is real will at first confuse the reader but then make all kinds of sense as the plot unfolds. Bravo...and please write a book 3!!!
I liked this book, but I really LIKED this book a lot more about 3/4 of the way through when Natalie's true colors came out. A few surprises, and a dead body--which happened before the current story started. The narrator changed throughout the book and sometimes it was the dog, Cooper. Once it was even the house (which was a little strange).
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Cooper is back with Rocky and Melissa in tow and a story that explodes with danger and heartbreaking drama.
The story builds with slow intensity that makes you think you know what's coming but you don't. When you do, you will wish you didn't. The dog is the star but only one of the soul-winning characters. A book that's impossible to put down.
My one suggestion from the first book in this series must have been done before. There's a great flow of understanding when you know who's view you are in. The story is intense, and you really should read the first one before this one. There are surprises and edge of your seat scenes. Jacqueline Sheehan, I am ready for more.
Rarely have I read a book that resonated so deeply with me as the Peaks Island books. I desperately wish there were more. Cooper is one of the best characters out there, and the author’s style of writing alternately in his voice is extremely effective in making him (and others) come alive. Thank you, Ms. Sheehan, for the gift of these books.