Glenda's Reviews > Family History

Family History by Dani Shapiro
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's review
Dec 09, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: books-read-in-2012
Read from January 22 to 24, 2012

Rachel Jensen is perfectly happy: in love with her husband, devoted to their daughter Kate, gratified by her work restoring art. And finally, she’s pregnant again. But as Rachel discovers, perfection can unravel in an instant. The summer she is thirteen, Kate returns from camp sullen, angry, and withdrawn. Everyone assures Rachel it’s typical adolescent angst. But then Kate has a terrifying accident with her infant brother, and the ensuing guilt brings forth a dreadful lie—one that ruptures their family, perhaps irrevocably.
This was a real page turner for me. The chapters alternate between past and present, slowly and suspensfully exploring how a beloved, well-brought-up child can destroy a family. This story was so realistic it could have been a true story. I really felt all the emotions Rachel felt as a wife and a mother and how she was torn trying to decide what was best for her daughter. I was slightly disappointed by the ending. I was hoping that things were going to get wrapped up and explained more clearly, but it was kind of left hanging. Not that that is always a bad thing, but I was just hoping that there would've been a better way to end the story.

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