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Family Pictures: A Novel af Sue Miller
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Family Pictures: A Novel (original 1989; udgave 1999)

af Sue Miller

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
6391527,235 (3.74)14
A masterful, engrossing novel about the life of a large family that is deeply bonded by the stranger in their midst -- an autistic child The whole world could not have broken the spirit and strength of the Eberhardt family of 1948. Lainey is a wonderful if slightly eccentric mother. David is a good father, sometimes sarcastic, always cool-tempered. Two wonderful children round out the perfect picture. Then the next child arrives -- and life is never the same again. Over the next forty years, the Eberhardt family struggles to survive a flood tide of upheaval and heartbreak, love and betrayal, passion and pain...hoping they can someday heal their hearts.… (mere)
Medlem:lilyfathersjoy
Titel:Family Pictures: A Novel
Forfattere:Sue Miller
Info:Harper Perennial (1999), Paperback, 448 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:fiction, autism, family, marriage, adultery, adolescence, childhood, twentieth century, American

Detaljer om værket

Familiebilleder af Sue Miller (1989)

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Engelsk (14)  Tysk (1)  Alle sprog (15)
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http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/10527345 ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
I loved The Good Mother and especially While I Was Gone, both by Sue Miller. I did not love this one as much and I have been trying to understand why.

The story is about a family more than about an individual. Yes, there is a main character - Nina - but her life is surrounded by the lives of her parents and siblings, and several chapters are from these other points of view. For a while I wondered if we'd ever get back to Nina, because I missed her.

The controlling force in the story is Nina's older brother Randall. Nina was the fourth child, Randall the third. Randall had neurological problems. They settled on calling him autistic but it sounds like more than that. Never mind. The label is not important. What is important is how his disability affected his parents and by extension his siblings.

In getting to the seat of it all, Miller weaves back and forth in time. Sometimes I felt we were thrown from one age to another, then back again, like a carnival ride. She takes in Nina's parents and their parents in her survey, which helps to provide a basis for the action.

Randall's parents felt very differently about Randall. It appeared to Lainey, his mother, that her husband David blamed her for the defects in this child. In response to this belief, Lainey goes on to have three more children - "perfect" - as a way of sorts of proving that she had nothing to do with it. Nina always felt out of it, different, because of this distinction, and her father jokingly referred to the three youngest as "the extras", the "unexpected guests", the "surprise party", the "little pitchers of health".

Her father was a psychiatrist. It appears that he took his profession seriously, extending his listening manner to his family. Which contrasted with Lainey's more excitable nature. At times I was irritated by David's steady, controlled manner, and at others by Lainey's uncontrolled outbursts or her attempts at joking everyone out of a funk. I did not become fond of either.

Nor did I become especially fond of Nina's older brother Mack, older than Randall but often seen as a kind of twin, the "perfect" twin. He felt pressured to perform at full volume for a while, until he threw it all away, again a response to the existence of Randall.

We don't get into the minds of the younger sisters to any great degree. We do meet Liddie, the eldest, and recognize that she uses her talent, her voice, to move her farther and farther away from her family and from forming any family of her own.

It's a compelling portrait of a family challenged by the one who is least aware of the others. For some reason, though, I never really felt sucked into it. Towards the end I could hardly wait for the last page, which differs from how I have felt when reading Miller's other books - that I would be sad to leave them behind. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
Nina is the fourth daughter of a family of six children. The third child, Randall, is autistic and difficult to live with. The family life revolves around Randall to a large extent. We meet the family in the 1960s and through 20 plus years. At times we are in the action, at others Nina is looking back on her family life, trying to make sense of it as her own life is in a state of change. Sue Miller is exploring relationships within a complex family and manages this successfully to a large extent but occasionally I felt she was over-analysing and this became clumsy. I like the story and the characters very much and she includes plenty of excellent material and images of families, siblings. There is plenty of heartfelt feeling and opening up but also secrets and hiding behind routine. Generally a good read. ( )
1 stem CarolKub | Jun 22, 2020 |
Perfect Family - till Autistic Randall arrives - 40 years struggle
Pg 448 - His life to choose ___ wrong - wrong choices
Pg 467, 470 Love w/ conditions
No one gets Love w/o some conditions
want things from them, for them. Loved Randall w/ no conditions.

Spanning forty years Family Pictures follows the conflict between husband and wife, over a beautiful autistic child. Randall is both angel and demon. His father, David, a coolly rational psychiatrist, wants him placed in an institution; his mother, Lainey, insists on keeping him at home.
  christinejoseph | Dec 11, 2015 |
The Eberhardt's are the picture perfect family - dad is a doctor, mum stays home to look after two lovely children - a girl and a boy. Then, Randall is born and Randall has a serious disability.

Sue Miller traces the lives of this family and looks at it from the perspectives of each of its members over the course of four decades - joy and heartbreak, pain and pleasure, love and rejection - Miller details how this 'situation' affects the family as individuals and in the family dynamic.

This author never disappoints and I would definitely recommend this book. ( )
  EvelynBernard | Nov 21, 2015 |
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A masterful, engrossing novel about the life of a large family that is deeply bonded by the stranger in their midst -- an autistic child The whole world could not have broken the spirit and strength of the Eberhardt family of 1948. Lainey is a wonderful if slightly eccentric mother. David is a good father, sometimes sarcastic, always cool-tempered. Two wonderful children round out the perfect picture. Then the next child arrives -- and life is never the same again. Over the next forty years, the Eberhardt family struggles to survive a flood tide of upheaval and heartbreak, love and betrayal, passion and pain...hoping they can someday heal their hearts.

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