Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Black & White by Dani Shapiro

Clara lives with her husband Jonathan and daughter Sam in Maine. Fourteen years ago, she ran away from her family in New York City, sick of her life as the model in her mother's photographs. These provocative photos, taken of Clara from ages three to fourteen, made Ruth extremely famous. For Clara, they are reminder of a childhood that she wants to forget. But now Ruth is dying of cancer and Clara's sister Robin calls to ask her to come to New York. Clara goes, but seeing Ruth again dredges up memories of her youth. Clara's worldview is also complicated by the fact that Sam looks just like her when she was young. Black and White is a thought-provoking story in which the worlds of art, exploitation, and families collide. I only wish that Ruth's character was explored with more depth. If you like Amanda Eyre Ward or Jodi Picoult, give it a try.

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