“A green sign, LEAVING CAPE COD, flashes by, and she starts to breathe. People sit in traffic for hours just to get here…and though everyone always tells her how lucky she is to live here, she’s never wanted anything more than to leave.“
Pictures of You, Caroline Leavitt
Pictures of You, by Caroline Leavitt, was published this month and is 336 pages. I connected with Caroline on Twitter and because this novel was picked as a Costco Book Club pick and as one of Oprah’s books to watch for January, I couldn’t wait to read it.
The book begins on a foggy road, south of Cape Cod. A photographer, Isabelle, is fleeing her life after finding out about her husband’s affair, but her escape is literally stopped by a car parked across the highway. Unable to see the car and the woman, April, standing in front of it until it’s too late, Isabelle hits the woman and her life is forever changed.
The tragedy ends up bringing Isabelle back to the very town she’s fleeing. As the novel unfolds she develops a relationship with April’s son, Sam, and his father, Charlie. What they all learn about each other and about April is surprising and transforming, and demonstrates the scope and breadth of human healing and forgiveness.
Pictures of You was very engaging. Leavitt’s writing style and plotting kept me turning pages well past my bedtime. I was particularly touched by the relationship between Isabelle and Sam, and thought Leavitt superbly and honestly portrayed the grieving process and personal world of a child. The book is unflinchingly honest and the characters aren’t always likable, but their motives are clear and their humanity redeems them.
If you enjoy books by Jodi Piccoult, you’ll enjoy Pictures of You. For more on the novel, visit Caroline’s website.