Family Pictures

Family Pictures

Sue Miller / Jun 05, 2020

Family Pictures Spanning forty years Family Pictures follows the conflict between husband and wife over a beautiful autistic child Randall is both angel and demon His father David a coolly rational psychiatrist

  • Title: Family Pictures
  • Author: Sue Miller
  • ISBN: 9780575403215
  • Page: 355
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Spanning forty years, Family Pictures follows the conflict between husband and wife, over a beautiful autistic child Randall is both angel and demon His father, David, a coolly rational psychiatrist, wants him placed in an institution his mother, Lainey, insists on keeping him at home Yet it is not just David and Lainey who are struggling to come to terms with a difficSpanning forty years, Family Pictures follows the conflict between husband and wife, over a beautiful autistic child Randall is both angel and demon His father, David, a coolly rational psychiatrist, wants him placed in an institution his mother, Lainey, insists on keeping him at home Yet it is not just David and Lainey who are struggling to come to terms with a difficult and unpredictable child there are five other children in the family, each of them coping with the dramas and rifts surrounding them, each of them affected by Randall.

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      Published :2019-06-07T08:15:07+00:00

    About "Sue Miller"

      • Sue Miller

        Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread for information.Sue Miller is an American novelist and short story writer who has authored a number of best selling novels Her duties as a single mother left her with little time to write for many years, and as a result she did not publish her first novel until 1986, after spending almost a decade in various fellowships and teaching positions Since then, two of her novels have been made into feature films, and her book While I Was Gone was an Oprah s Book Club pick in 2000.


    1. Tutte le famiglie felici sono simili le une alle altre; ogni famiglia infelice è infelice a modo suo, diceva Tolstoj. E, infatti, questo romanzo ci racconta il modo in cui sono infelici gli Eberhardt, una famiglia americana cattolica, che l’autrice ci fa conoscere e seguire a partire dagli anni ’50 sino a giungere agli anni ’90. Un padre, una madre e sei figli, di cui uno autistico. Oggettivamente, non posso lamentarmi di nulla: il libro è ben scritto, i fatti sono articolati, i personag [...]

    2. This should have been a better book than it was. The story is centered on a family with an autistic son, and how the presence of this son shapes the family and each of its members. Unfortunately, all the family members are pretty unlikable and it is very hard to care about what happens to them. The mother and father are particularly unpleasant - very self-absorbed while believing they are selflessly dedicated to their kids. All of the characters seem to float in their own little bubbles of self- [...]

    3. Absorbing story of a semi-dysfunctional but loving family set in the 60's- and 70's. Several points of view bring different facets of this story to light. Sue Miller's style is a bit more flowery and metaphor-filled than I prefer, but her gift of narrative shines.

    4. But that's the way it is in a family, isn't it? The stories get passed around, polished, embellished. Liddie's version or Mack's version changes as it becomes my version. And when I tell them, it's not just that the events are different but that they all mean something different too. Something I want them to mean. Or need them to. And of course, there's also the factor of time. Of how your perspective, your way of telling the story - of seeing it - changes as time passes. As you change.In the id [...]

    5. I like Sue Miller, but this is not her best work. She is a fabulous writer, and that really shines through in some sections of the book. The shifting narration does not always work (though when it does, it's quite good). I was left feeling that the character motivations were missing here - so I never knew why anyone did the things they did, and therefore never really connected with them in any meaningful way. (Although, the last chapter goes a teeny way toward ameliorating this - but it's too li [...]

    6. I loved The Good Mother and especially While I Was Gone, both by Sue Miller. I did not love this one as much and I have been trying to understand why.The story is about a family more than about an individual. Yes, there is a main character - Nina - but her life is surrounded by the lives of her parents and siblings, and several chapters are from these other points of view. For a while I wondered if we'd ever get back to Nina, because I missed her.The controlling force in the story is Nina's olde [...]

    7. Sometimes I can be slow to digest a book, slow to come to terms with my feelings about it. In this case, when I finished Miller's book back in 2012, I unequivocally gave it four stars—there was no question that I was drawn in by her story and intrigued by the family dynamic she portrayed. I didn't care for several of the characters, although I appreciated their characterizations, for they were true and bold and agonizingly real to me. But it is only after all these months have passed and so ma [...]

    8. Another family story -- a strong and confident family in 1948 of mother (slightly eccentric), father (sarcastic, always cool-tempered), a boy, a girl. Then the third child is born, severely disabled. The family spends the next 40 years trying to survive upheaval, heartbreak, pain. Summary: "Everyone around here's under a lot of strain right now. No one has a lot of resilience. The edges are frayed." This was painful to read. I kept thinking that there had to be a better way to deal with the diff [...]

    9. This is a story about a semi-dysfunctional but loving family. I really enjoyed this book. I like how this book is more character-driven than a plot-driven novel. It's about a family drama and it plays out the childhood, teenage years, and young adulthood of the children in the family. It explores what our place in the family does to us as part of our development. It probes into our own expectations of our siblings and parents. This book can get a little boring in some places, but I still enjoyed [...]

    10. Sue Miller gives us reminder of how bad some psychological theories were in the 1950s and how they could ruin a family, especially regarding children on the autism spectrum. She really portrayed the ramifications of how an autistic child can affect the family. That being said, it is a long slow book and took me awhile to get into it.

    11. The story was good, but sometimes disjointed. I had to look back at the chapters occasionally to help remember where in the timeline we were.

    12. Foto di famiglia è un libro doloroso per il suo realismo.Siamo in America, anni '50-'60, gli Eberhardt sono in otto: padre psichiatra, madre casalinga e "ben" sei figli, di cui il terzo, Randall, affetto da autismo.La storia è raccontata da Nina, la quarta figlia, una volta divenuta adulta, attraverso numerosi flash-back e riflessioni.Uno dei personaggi che ci viene presentato per primo è il padre, per il quale ho provato subito poca simpatia, soprattutto a causa del modo crudele con il quale [...]

    13. Technically a 4.5-star rating. So touching and beautifully written, with a searingly insightful understanding of the family dynamic, the pain and beauty at its core that shapes who are. It was so dead-on with its portrayal of the impact fraught family relationships have on all of us. I'm withholding the last half star only because I wasn't quite fully satisfied with the ending, and didn't understand how/why it would be Nina's chosen ending.Miller writes like a better, kinder version of Jonathan [...]

    14. This book is gripping - spellbinding in parts, in fact. There were times I absolutely could not put it down. Miller has a way of bringing people and situations to life in such a way that even if you've never experienced what she's writing about, you can find something in it to relate to. She makes things real, and she's a very honest writer. As someone who has a disability, I can say in all honesty that Miller did her research. She truly understands how some families can be impacted by such an e [...]

    15. This is the first of Sue Miller's books that I've read. It was a good book but it fell short of a full five stars for me.It was a very real picture of a family broken by mental illness. I applaud Miller for her extremely believable portrait of the Eberhardt family which being torn apart by a child with autism. The family struggles through accusations from other each other, failing marriages, disruptive children, war, and so on. Based on how Miller describes these events in the lives of the Eberh [...]

    16. I didn't love this book, but I did like it. It was honest.but kind of depressing.It is about a family: a loving husband and wife and their 6 children. Child #3 (Randall) was born with a mental illness, in which they would refer to him as being autisticever I felt like it was much more than that. I could be wrong, just my opinion. It tells of their struggles from the time they found out that Randall has this illness, through the next 40 years. There were some good times, but not too many.What was [...]

    17. Members of a family suffer difficulties, familial conflicts, hurts and doubts. Challenged by a sibling born with mental handicaps, the parents opt to keep Randall home until his outbursts become unmanageable. Finally he is institutionalized. A marriage breaks, comes together again and then finally breaks for good. Children grow up, each immersed in their own version of hurt and heartbreak over their childhood and find their way into adulthood limping badly at first but then finally standing up s [...]

    18. This book focuses on a family with six children, the third of whom is autistic. I was surprised and irritated at first at how descriptions of day to day life with Randall, the autistic child, seemed to focus much more on the other characters, so that you could almost forget that Randall was there. But then I thought, maybe that's the point - that even with this horrible difficult disease in the middle of the family, life goes on. Coffee (lots of it!) is drunk, games are played, marriages fall ap [...]

    19. Whatever the world could throw at the Eberhardt family, circumstances could not have broken their strength or spirit. In 1948, the Eberhardts were the picture perfect family - Lainey is the wonderful, if slightly eccentric mother, David is a good father - sometimes sarcastic, always cool-tempered. Two wonderful and loving children - Lydia and Macklin - complete the family portrait. The lives of the Eberhardt family couldn't possibly get any better; until the birth of their third child, Randall. [...]

    20. This is the author’s third book. Her first, the Good Mother, was a novel; her second, Inventing the Abbots and Other Stories, was a collection of short stories. Although this book is a novel, I found that it more resembled her collection of stories, in that most of the chapters of this book are largely independent of each other – almost separate snapshots, as suggested by the title (though the title no doubt also refers to the fact that the primary point-of-view character is a photographer). [...]

    21. I’ve read 150 pages and just haven’t connected at all with any one of the six children in this family (or their mother or father); certainly not enough to want to spend another almost 300 pages with them. So far its been day-to-day, not too exciting kind of stuff. The woman keeps getting pregnant, her 3rd child is autistic, so she has another (and another and another) to, what, make up for it? One child slices his foot open on Christmas, and we are at the hospital with him and his father. Hi [...]

    22. I really liked this book, and I have liked all of the Sue Miller books that I have read For as long as it is, Ifinished it pretty quickly. The word dysfunctional keeps coming up in the reviews and summaries of this book, so I thought it would be more dark or depressing than it wasybe I'm dysfunctional, but this family seemed pretty loving and honest to me.icated? Yes. Faced with adversity? Yes. But aren't all of us? I really felt each character and could totally empathize with both David and Lai [...]

    23. Just recently reread this book. It is both a joyful account of making it through all the odds and a sad story of a family that has too much to deal with. A young couple gets married. They have two children. Then the third comes along. He has issues. This was during the 1960's, so of course the mother was blamed for his problems. To prove to herself and her husband that she was not at fault, she gets pregnant. Not once, not twice, but three times. The book describes the family's life together and [...]

    24. As a fan of many Sue Miller's books, I was happy to find one I hadn't read. The topic is an interesting one a family struggles to survive while living with a severely autistic child. Parents Lainey and David seem to have an idyllic life, living in a new home with their two wonderful children. Their lives are changed forever when the next child is born. The story moves through the next forty years -- and three more children -- as the family revolves around the needs of the handicapped child at th [...]

    25. FAMILY PICTURESSue Miller The dysfunctional Eberhardt family dynamic is torn asunder when their third child is born autistic. In the mother's denial she feels if she has another child it will erase some of her guilt and deceives the father about the pregnancy. This only creates greater upheaveal and strife especially in the marriage. Each member of the family is impacted differently dealing with the boy and his handicap.Ms. Miller is an excellent writer and has a marvelous ear for the thoughts a [...]

    26. The at the center of this troubling novel is a middle class, educated family of eight. The third child is born severely autistic. As he grows more unmanageable we see the affects of this in the parent's marriage and in the emotional development of the other five children. There are high points, but very few. There are break-through & enlightenment, but very minimal. There IS a great deal of angst and heartbreak and upheaval. It just proved too disturbing and haunting for me, though I read it [...]

    27. This is a very involved book and not always in a good way. It's dense and detailed and psychological, in an analytical sense. While the story of the Eberhardt family is interesting, a lot of the telling began to seem mundane and boring after Miller had gone over the same thoughts and feelings for the umpteenth time using a different set of thoughts and overly-descriptive emotions. I enjoyed the insight into feminism of the 50s, 60s and 70s and the pressure and blame placed on women over circumst [...]

    28. I'm left breathless by Sue Miller's ability to tell a story from many different viewpoints - female, male, very young, very old - reflecting attitudes of five different decades. This covers the timelines of several members of one family whose scars radiate out over many years from the autism of one brother. I don't think this is a spoiler, but the final pages detail an idyllic evening just before the birth of the autistic child. We see the family, still small, as yet unwounded, ready to welcome [...]

    29. The last 200 pages were boring. It did not progress in a logical way, nor did it have much meaning toward the end. There were certainly a lot of interesting parts, especially about the autistic child and the impact on their marriage. The characters were well developed and believable, but her writing style can be exhausting. She packs too much into each sentence where it became a mental exercise every time I read the book. I felt like I had to continue reading, even when I wanted to stop, so that [...]

    30. As a critique of the medical profession, specifically psychiatry, in the 1950s and 1960s, the book recalls the The Yellow Wallpaper. A family's happiness is upended after the birth of an autistic son. Of course, the parents' reactions aggravate what's already a difficult challenge. The psychiatrist father finds blame with the mother. She in turn strives to have more children, more than they can handle, to prove him wrong. The children and the autistic son's caregivers reinforce the parents' many [...]

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