Pictures of You: Book summary and reviews of Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt

Pictures of You

By Caroline Leavitt

Pictures of You
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2011,
    336 pages.

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Book Summary

Paperback Original. Two women running away from their marriages collide on a foggy highway, killing one of them. 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?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[T]hough the story stumbles sometimes into too saccharine moments, Leavitt's near bottomless reserve of compassion for her imperfect characters will endear them to readers." - Publishers Weekly

"Whether [they] arrive at happiness separately or together is the question that drives the narrative, and the reader, forward as Leavitt teases suspense out of the greatest mystery of all—the workings of the human heart." - Booklist

"Heartfelt (everyone cries), deft and highly readable fiction." - Kirkus Reviews

"Despite the depressing subject matter, Pictures of You is a thoughtful read that just might encourage you to start saying all those things you keep meaning to tell your loved ones.” - Bust Magazine

"With a tragic story and a cast of highly relatable, flawed characters, Pictures of You is a kind of female version of another novel that revolves around a car accident, John Burnham Schwartz’s haunting Reservation Road." - Venus Zine

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Louise J
Riveting
Thirty-six-year-old Isabelle is leaving Cape Cod, her husband Luke, has a baby with his new girlfriend. All Isabelle is leaving with is: her cameras, one small suitcase of clothing, and money from the bank. She is heading for New York where she has a cheap, illegal sublet lined up that she can use for as long as she wants and she has her photography business. Driving westbound on US-6 the fog is thick making it impossible to see with headlights so Isabelle turns on her parking lights which provide her with a much better visibility.

About three hours from home, Isabelle very suddenly comes across a car in her lane, stopped and facing the wrong way! A woman is standing outside her car and her little boy climbs out when he sees Isabelle’s car heading straight for them. With no time to stop on the narrow road, she has nowhere to go so she attempts to veer her vehicle around the stopped car. Unfortunately, the little boy begins to run and the mother tries to push herself closer to her own vehicle but Isabelle hits them head-on anyway. We find out that one of the people in the accident dies and the other two live.

I was pulled in and mesmerized from the first page. After we get over the shock of the accident, the book goes on to sort out the lives of four different people. It’s heartbreaking, riveting and deeply moving all at the same time. Leavitt’s ability to write with a realness of life, its people and situations is uncanny. This was a masterfully created and told story.

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Author Information

Caroline Leavitt Author Biography

Caroline Leavitt is the author of eight novels, including Meeting Rozzy Halfway, Lifelines, Jealousies, Family, Into Thin Air, Living Other Lives, Coming Back To Me, and Girls In Trouble. Her essays and stories have appeared in Salon.com, Redbook, Parenting, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and other outlets. The winner of The Redbook Young Writers' Contest, she's also the recipient of a New York Foundation of The Arts Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for a Nickelodeon Screenwriting Fellowship. A book columnist for The Boston Globe, Leavitt also teaches writing online for UCLA and does private manuscript consulting.

Caroline Leavitt lives in Hoboken, New Jersey, New York City's unofficial sixth borough, with her husband, the writer Jeff Tamarkin, ...

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