Family Pictures: A Novel

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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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About the author

Sue Miller is the bestselling author of While I Was Gone, The Distinguished Guest, For Love, Family Pictures, Inventing the Abbotts, and The Good Mother. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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4.2
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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperCollins
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Published on
Mar 8, 2016
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Pages
512
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ISBN
9780062495808
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the author of The Gin & Chowder Club comes an exquisitely heartfelt and uplifting novel that explores the infinite reach of a mother's love--and the gift of second chances. . .

The modest ranch house where Callie Wyeth grew up looks just as she remembers it--right down to the well-worn sheets in the linen closet. But in the years since Callie lived here, almost everything else has changed. Her father, once indomitable, is in poor health. And Callie is a single mother with a beautiful little boy, Henry, who has just been diagnosed with autism.

Returning to this quiet New Hampshire community seems the best thing to do, for both her father and her son's sake. Even if it means facing Linden Finch, the one she loved and left for reasons she's sure he'll never forgive. Linden is stunned that Callie is back--and that she has a son. Yet in the warm, funny relationship that develops between Henry and Linden's menagerie of rescued farm animals, Callie begins to find hope. Not just that her son might break through the wall of silence separating him from the world, but that she too can make a new start amid the places and people that have never left her heart. . .

Praise for The Gin and Chowder Club

"Eloquent and surprising. . . I love this story of faith, love, and the lasting bonds of family." --Ann Leary, author of Outtakes from a Marriage

"Nostalgic and tender. . .summons the passion of first love, the pain of first loss, and the unbreakable bonds of family that help us survive both." --Marie Bostwick, New York Times bestselling author
A deeply imaginative debut novel about a family in crisis, Time of the Locust “deftly brings together the fantastic and the realistic, and touches on a variety of issues, from politics, race, and murder to disability, domestic tragedy, and myth…[and] spins them with gold and possibility” (The Washington Post).

Sephiri is an autistic boy who lives in a world of his own making, where he dwells among imagined sea creatures that help him process information in the “real world” in which he is forced to live. But lately he has been having dreams of a mysterious place, and he starts creating fantastical sketches of this strange, inner world.

Brenda, Sephiri’s mother, struggles with raising her challenged child alone. Her only wish is to connect with him—a smile on his face would be a triumph. Sephiri’s father, Horus, is serving a life sentence in prison, making the days even lonelier for Brenda and Sephiri. Yet prison is still not enough to separate father and son. In the seventh year of his imprisonment and at the height of his isolation, Horus develops extraordinary mental abilities that allow him to reach his son. Memory and yearning carry him outside his body, and through the realities of their ordeals and dreamscape, Horus and Sephiri find each other—and find hope in ways never imagined.

Deftly portrayed by the remarkably talented Morowa Yejidé, this “unique and astounding debut” (New York Times bestselling author Lalita Tademy) is a harrowing, mystical, and redemptive journey toward the union of a family.
Four unforgettable characters beckon you into this spellbinding new novel from Sue Miller, the author of 2008’s heralded best seller The Senator’s Wife. First among them is Wilhelmina—Billy—Gertz, small as a child, fiercely independent, powerfully committed to her work as a playwright. The story itself centers on The Lake Shore Limited—a play Billy has written about an imagined terrorist bombing of that train as it pulls into Union Station in Chicago, and about a man waiting to hear the fate of his estranged wife, who is traveling on it. Billy had waited in just such a way on 9/11 to hear whether her lover, Gus, was on one of the planes used in the attack.

The novel moves from the snow-filled woods of Vermont to the rainy brick sidewalks of Boston as the lives of the other characters intersect and interweave with Billy’s: Leslie, Gus’s sister, still driven by grief years after her brother’s death; Rafe, the actor who rises to greatness in a performance inspired by a night of incandescent lovemaking; and Sam, a man irresistibly drawn to Billy after he sees the play that so clearly displays the terrible conflicts and ambivalence of her situation.

How Billy has come to create the play out of these emotions, how it is then created anew on the stage, how the performance itself touches and changes the other characters’ lives—these form the thread that binds them all together and drives the novel compulsively forward.

A powerful love story; a mesmerizing tale of entanglements, connections, and inconsolable losses; a marvelous reflection on the meaning of grace and the uses of sorrow, in life and in art: The Lake Shore Limited is Sue Miller at her dazzling best.
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