Pictures of You tells the story of three different women, two with an obvious link, and one that doesn’t fit until the final few pages.
The book actually starts with a mysterious prologue that makes little sense at this point, but which is referred back at the end. We are then introduced to Luna, in 2003, strangely enough having sex in a cupboard, during her father’s funeral! It does sound a little odd, but it does start to make sense as the book progresses.
Luna lives in London with her boyfriend, and they are both artists. They have always been happy, until Luna attends the funeral of her estranged father. It stirs a yearning to find out more, about her past and her family, and also about her future. Through some photos that her father took when younger, she starts to wonder more about the life her mother led when younger.
We are then taken back to 1970, where we learn about Angie’s past – Angie being Luna’s mother. These chapters are cleverly interspaced, exposing Luna’s incorrect assumptions about her mother and her past, and what actually happened. Angie’s story tells a fascinating tale of life in a commune, and a changing view of the world.
Between these two stories is the tale of Nat, a teenage mum living in the 90s. There appears to be no connection with the other two women, and it gives a bleak and frightening insight into her life.
Luna and Angie’s stories slowly come together, as they both take their very separate journeys. The older Angie becomes more interesting as you discover what she has been through, and Luna shows that not everything is black and white.
Towards the end we discover Nat’s link into the overall story. It does feel a little out of place, but her story does add to the book – I think views will be divided on that aspect.
Overall, this is a rather clever book, as the stories come together. It can be confusing at the beginning, and the content, especially during Angie’s stay at the commune, may not suit everyone. It has, however, stayed with me, and I am now interested in the author’s previous books. It’s one you may just have to try for yourself.