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Family Pictures: A Novel Paperback – January 9, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Things jump around, but I'm flexible enough to follow along most times. The thing that bewildered me, however, was that the book shifts from first person to third person and back. You read the point of view of Nina, the family photographer, and settle into getting to know what you presume is the "main character". Suddenly, you flip totally out of her sphere and find she's referred to in the third person. Not only that, but she isn't the main character at all. The story is mostly about her parents. So you don't know where Nina's point of view went - or, more importantly, why it went away. It becomes "Nina's" story four short times without following any discernible structure, except (and I presume this - it isn't stated) that it's because she's a photographer and took pictures, and gave the book the title. You just have to accept that sometimes it's all about Nina. No telling why.
When it flips back to third person, the story switches back and forth between the points of view of several characters, mostly the parents and the non-autistic brother (and sometimes a third-person rather than a first-person Nina), moving the story along more or less chronologically through the 50s and 60s, then ending in the 80s where it began.
Within this shifting of time, place and viewpoint, the story describes a family whose autistic son/brother is both "not there" and omnipresent in their lives. He is the dominating influence on everyone without ever being mentally "with" them. The author describes the impact his life had on his parents' marriage and his siblings as they attempt to cope with their lives and his.
All told, even with the massive shifts in everything, I enjoyed the book, the writing, the story and the timeframe. I would certainly recommend it.
What I would like to say is that I have read a great deal about autism. Fiction, non-fiction, text books, first hand accounts and even how-to manuals, but this book, this NOVEL, was one of the most realistic, compassionate writings dealing with autism I have ever read.
It is heartbreaking in it's total honesty of life with an autistic. It deals with decisions and sacrifices that have to be made and yet, is told with love.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book, I read it in a day. It was a really deep look into a family falling a part due to each person's issues. Read morePublished 24 months ago by CLM
Miller uses photographs of members of a family as metaphors for the various attitudes each person acquired through the years, as they grew older. Read morePublished on January 15, 2014 by Claudette Cleveland
Thought this was Sue Millers best novel. Caught my interest right from the start. Not a predictable family situation but truly believable, enjoyed every page. Read morePublished on September 18, 2013 by Lorraine A. Leavell
The picture of this family shows stark contrast. The first two children have a normal existence until Randall, their austistic brother is born. Read morePublished on July 21, 2012 by MSQUARED
This book was like the art movie at the esoteric theatre. Everyone spoke of it well and claimed to love it, but you were bored to tears with all the pregnant pauses. Read morePublished on June 20, 2011 by voracious reader
I finished the book, but it was work. This novel was not nearly as good as her previous books, but it dealt realistically with the issues of a large family that includes an... Read morePublished on October 26, 2009 by Mari Anna Wahr
This novel focuses on the marriage of a psychiatrist to a woman who devotes her
life to their autistic son. Read more
This deeply moving Sue Miler novel, traces the life of a large family over 4 decades. This book deals with it all: autism, alcoholism, drug abuse, infidelity, teenage angst, I... Read morePublished on August 29, 2007 by Jody