The Only True Genius in the Family

( 3 )

Overview

From the author of The Last Beach Bungalow: a portrait of a family-in all its heartbreaking complexity.

Though she lives in the shadow of her legendary landscape photographer father, and is the mother of a painter whose career is about to take off, Claire has carved out a practical existence as a commercial photographer. Her pictures may not be the stuff of genius, but they've paid for a good life.

But when her father dies, Claire loses faith ...

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The Only True Genius in the Family

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Overview

From the author of The Last Beach Bungalow: a portrait of a family-in all its heartbreaking complexity.

Though she lives in the shadow of her legendary landscape photographer father, and is the mother of a painter whose career is about to take off, Claire has carved out a practical existence as a commercial photographer. Her pictures may not be the stuff of genius, but they've paid for a good life.

But when her father dies, Claire loses faith in the work she has devoted her life to-and worse, begins to feel jealous of her daughter's success. Then, as she helps prepare a retrospective of her famous father's photographs, Claire uncovers revelations about him that change everything she believes about herself as a mother, a daughter, and an artist...

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425225752
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/3/2009
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennie Nash is also the author of the nonfiction book The Victoria's Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming: And Other Lessons I Learned from Breast Cancer.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome Book

    I really liked this novel. A lot. I started this book dismissing it as chick lit but the book I read was much different and much deeper.

    I had so much sympathy for Claire. I know what it feels like to feel like you are lacking compared to others. I could imagine the anguish she must have felt believing her father, who she always wanted the approval of, loved her less because she was not as gifted and artistic as he would have liked her to be. I understand her feelings in way that I did not think that I would.

    The origin of genius and talent is also something I have never thought of before and I found it pretty interesting when I did. Is genius genetic or is it learned? I don't know. My dad is a genius in math and both my sister and I are veritable dunces when it comes to math. But then again, my father is an engineer and I managed to gain his talent for computers and technology. I also gained my love for reading from my mother. So, I do think that these forms of aptitude can be genetic but that genius can't be learned is, I think, false.

    As you can tell, this book made me think. I was struck by this book and I was surprised about how much. It was very well written. The characters were great. The only character that I did not like was Bailey. She seemed to be temperamental, bratty and overly critical of her mother. She seemed to look down on Claire. I think she was part of the reason for Claire's inferiority complex. I wanted to see more of Harrison. He was such a good guy.

    I really liked this book and think you will as well. Especially if you are looking for an introspective novel masquerading as chick lit.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Complex Character Portrayals that Perplex

    The depth of the relationships Jennie creates pulled me into a world where genius is examined from complex angles through intimate, familial interactions. The death of a legendary landscape photographer opened wounds of exclusion for his daughter, Claire, and the joys of inclusion and fame for his granddaughter, Bailey.

    I couldn't put it down; I was both angered and awestruck by each complicated character depending upon whether or not I chose to stand outside the individual character or climb inside his/her skin, from one scene to the next. This novel stays with me as I am still sorting out who really was or is the true genius.

    And I can't forget the vast disparity between Claire's father and her husband, Harrison; I see Claire's father as the undeveloped, hidden negatives, while I see Harrison as the juicy plum where life lies within its flesh just waiting to be savored. Certainly a book club choice, but I'd like to see it on the book list for contemporary psychology courses.

    Finally, as an author of an anthology where daughters write short memoirs capturing their mothers' character, I can't help but wish I could include a bio-vignette written by Bailey about her mother, Claire. So you see, the characters in Jennie's novel are so real that I actually want to contact one of them to write a nonfiction story for my book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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