Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review: "The Photograph" by Penelope Lively

5 out of 5 Stars

Go no further if you want to read the book.

This is a story of how lives can change even ten years after the death of a loved one. 

Glyn, widow of Kath, is a driven professor.  Kath's sister is an equally driven landscape artist.  Kath reads as a free-spirit.  Ten years after Kath's death, a photograph found of her holding hands with her sister's husband.

The book hops chapter to chapter among various people.  One chapter may focus on Glyn's relentless search to find out if Kath was unfaithful in other ways.  (I despised Glyn, by the way.  What a horrible husband.)  Kath's sister struggles with her feelings  of ennui with her husband Nick and uses this new revelation as a way to kick Nick out of the house. 

As I read the book, I was struck by how little ANYONE knew Kath.  She would reach out, but was increasingly left behind and alone by all the people who should have mattered to her.  Ultimately, this strikingly beautiful free spirit commits suicide, but only after phoning and leaving a message to please call back - to her husband, and to her sister.  Neither called until some ten hours later, showing once again, as throughout the book, how little Kath figured into any of their lives.

I read the book in a day, and while it's gotten some bad reviews, it resonated with me, and the way Lively uses words is reason enough to read it.



Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

1 comment:

Thanks so much for commenting! It always makes my day!