Getting the Picture

Sarah Salway, Author . Ballantine $15 (222p) ISBN 978-0-345-48101-6

Salway (Tell Me Everything ) refutes the adage about old dogs and new tricks in this breezy epistolary novel set in a British retirement home. Not that the residents of Pilgrim House don't know plenty of old tricks already: Salway's appreciation of her characters is refreshingly nonpatronizing—her oldsters have rich and naughty pasts, but live in the present, very much alive and eager to gossip, conspire, and seduce. George Griffiths is the archetypal stuffy widower, determined to control the behavior of anyone near him. He's also the only male resident of Pilgrim House until Martin Morris, a photographer who specializes in female nudes, moves in with his cameras and his photo collection. Martin's a schemer who, unbeknownst to George, had an affair with George's wife decades earlier and has been obsessed with her since; he saved all the letters he wrote her but never sent, and continues to write to her about his increasingly menacing plans. Although the epistolary device requires that some key revelations are reported from a distance, relationships and characters evolve nicely in this lighthearted novel about family and lovers and the not-so-lighthearted secrets that separate them. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 11/16/2009
Release date: 03/01/2010
Open Ebook - 142 pages - 978-0-345-51564-3
Paperback - 234 pages - 978-1-910570-43-2
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!