Title: Pictures of You
Author: Caroline Leavitt
First published January 25, 2011
352 pages, ebook
ISBN: 9781616200329 (ISBN10: 1616200324)
In the book “Pictures of You” by Caroline Leavitt, a tragic accident on a misty highway leads to a collision of two women running away from their marriages. One of them loses her life, leaving the other survivor, Isabelle, to pick up the shattered pieces of her own existence and those of the family left behind by the deceased, April.
In a quest to unravel the mystery of April’s destination and her reason for fleeing, Isabelle, the devastated husband, and the fragile son are brought together. The novel explores the theme of how well we know those closest to us and how we can find it in ourselves to forgive the seemingly unforgivable.
About the Author
Caroline Leavitt is an accomplished author with several best-selling books under her belt, including Cruel Beautiful World, Is This Tomorrow, With or Without You, and Pictures of You. The latter was featured on several “Best Books of the Year” lists, including those from the San Francisco Chronicle, The Providence Journal, Bookmarks, and Kirkus Reviews.
It was also selected as a Costco Pennie’s Pick. In addition, Is This Tomorrow was long listed for the Main Readers Prize, chosen as a WNBA Reading group Choice, a San Francisco Chronicle Lit Pick/Editor’s Choice, and a Jewish Book Club Pic.
It also won an Audiofile Earphones Award.
Leavitt’s 13th novel, DAYS OF WONDER, is set to be published by Algonquin/Hatchette in the spring of 2024. She has also received numerous awards and recognition for her work, including a New York Foundation of the Arts Grant, a second prize in the Goldenberg Fiction Prize, and being selected as a finalist for the Sundance Screenwriting Lab and the Nickelodeon Screenwriting Fellowship.
She has also been nominated for a National Magazine Award.
In addition to her writing, Leavitt is a senior writing instructor at UCLA and Stanford online, as well as a freelance manuscript consultant. Her work has been featured in publications such as New York Magazine, Psychology Today, and Salon.
She has even been interviewed on The Today Show and profiled in the New York Times.
You can connect with Leavitt on Twitter as @leavittnovelist, on Instagram as @carolineleavitt, and on Facebook as @carowriter99.
Caroline Leavitts Pictures of You is a poignant and thought-provoking novel that explores the themes of love, loss, and redemption. First published on January 25, 2011, the book follows the intersecting lives of two women, Isabelle and April, who are brought together by a tragic car accident that changes their lives forever.
Leavitts writing style is both lyrical and raw, evoking deep emotions and capturing the essence of each character. Through her multifaceted portrayal of Isabelle and April, Leavitt delves into the complexities of grief, guilt, and forgiveness, painting a vivid picture of the human psyche.
The novels plot follows Isabelle, a stay-at-home mom who is struggling to come to terms with her sons death, and April, a young photographer who is running away from her past. When the two womens paths cross on a foggy day, their lives become inexorably entwined, leading them on a journey of self-discovery and healing.
Set against the backdrop of a small seaside town in Maine, the novels setting is atmospheric and immersive, adding another layer of depth to the story. Leavitt expertly weaves together the threads of the characters lives and the towns history, creating a rich tapestry of human experience.
In terms of historical or cultural significance, Pictures of You touches on issues such as marriage, parenthood, mental health, and social stigma. Leavitts exploration of these themes is timely and relevant, making the novel not only a timeless work of art but also a commentary on contemporary society.
One of the strengths of the novel is Leavitts deft handling of the main characters emotional journeys. Isabelle and April are complex and flawed, but their growth and transformation are both realistic and uplifting.
Leavitts exploration of grief and trauma is sensitive and nuanced, and her depiction of human relationships is authentic and moving. However, one of the shortcomings of the novel is its pacing, which is occasionally slow and meandering.
Some readers may find the plot somewhat predictable, and the ending may feel too neat and tidy. Overall, Pictures of You is a powerful and evocative novel that showcases Leavitts immense talent as a writer.
It is a must-read for anyone who is interested in exploring the complexities of human relationships and the human condition. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.