Family Pictures by Jane Green

Again I am always amazed how God can take a random work of fiction and place it in my life just at the right time. Family Pictures is the story of two women, two families and one man. I don’t think I am giving away any surprises when I say it is the tale of a man with a family on the East Coast and one on the West Coast.

The story has similarities to my own. While my ex didn’t have two families he definitely had two lives. The life with me and our daughter of the family man. Then the life on the road of a heavy drinker, pornography, strippers and strip clubs and prostitutes, even illegal peeping tom activities. Just like the women in the novel, I realize now I chose to ignore the signs. Sylvie and Maggie, the wives in the book chose to not question unexpected absences, a woman’s voice in the background or just the inability to reach him.

I did the same thing. When I would call his room and a woman would answer, I believed the hotel gave me the “wrong” room. When he would be home and disappear for hours, I believed he had been wandering the aisles of Home Depot. It wasn’t until like Sylvie, the police came calling that I realized what he had been doing. Sadly unlike Sylvie, I didn’t have the internal confidence needed to kick him out. I didn’t have the internal resolve to leave. Now I know lots of women say they would never put up with such things. But I can say until you walk a mile in my shoes, you won’t know.

Both women become stronger and happier because of the tragedy caused by this one man. Maggie remarks that she would have continued to live a fake and unhappy life believing she was happy if Mark’s lies hasn’t been discovered. I identify with her. But unlike the women of the story, I am still trying to adjust and not mourn my loss even though I know in my heart I never felt secure or loved.

If you are looking for some inspiration to overcome an unforeseen challenge, this is a good book to read.


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