Judi's Reviews > Pictures of You

Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt
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's review
Jan 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2012
Recommended to Judi by: Amazon Kindle sale
Recommended for: people who like books that explore relationships

I swallowed this book whole... and just for that, I bumped it up to 4 stars.

It isn't surprising that I would find the premise of this book alluring -- a woman dies in a car accident 3 hours from home, car packed with a suitcase, and her husband, Charlie, has no idea why she was leaving nor where she was going. Harder still, April was taking their son Sam with her -- leaving Charlie behind without a clue. Although Sam survives, he is only a kid and refuses to talk about it since he "knows" he caused the accident.

April is killed by a woman from the same Cape Cod town, who is also leaving her husband behind. But Isabel is leaving for a good reason. She has just learned that her husband of 20 years has been having an affair for 5 years and the other woman is having his baby; all the more hurtful since Isabel can't have kids.

With this premise, fate and other magical thinking drive the actions of the characters.... and yes, I expected to give up on the book. But Leavitt keeps the book grounded by exploring the car accident and the resulting grief from different perspectives letting the mystery of the reason for April's leaving to linger and consume the affected lives. Everyone has their own back story that gives them their own perspective of the events and their own guilt. And as strange as it seems, a unique love story comes out of it... but is it love, longing, guilt or grief?

Of course, we always bring something to the books we read, in for this one, it is a somewhat similar "plot" that consumed the better part of a year in my life after my sister had a horrific car accident in the middle of the night that left her a quadriplegic. She also had a suitcase in her car and was apparently leaving her husband and kids behind. She lived, but as is often the case with such trauma to the head and body, she has no memories of that day and the events leading up to it... or so she has steadfastly maintained. The family studied clues left behind but it is still a mystery. Nice fodder for fiction, and thus you can see why Caroline Leavitt's book attracted my attention.

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Reading Progress

January 3, 2012 – Started Reading
January 3, 2012 – Shelved
January 3, 2012 –
24.0% "Reading this on my Kindle reader (iPhone). I bought it on Amazon's daily special for .99. I can't remember why MostlyFiction didn't review this book... perhaps we never received it. Anyway, so far I'm finding this to be a compulsive read... a solid 3 stars so far."
January 6, 2012 –
January 7, 2012 – Shelved as: read-in-2012
January 7, 2012 – Finished Reading

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