Title: The Only True Genius in the Family
Author: Jennie Nash
Release Date: February 3, 2009
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the back cover:
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…
I’d heard really good things about Jennie Nash’s The Only True Genius in the Family, so I set it aside to read during the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon. It turned out to be the perfect book for the occasion – light, easy to read, and wonderfully captivating.
I sympathized so much with Claire. I felt bad for her, that no one around her seemed to understand her pain in being basically rejected by her father. I can only imagine a mother’s heartache – her father overlooked Claire in favor of Claire’s beloved daughter Bailey. As a mother, how must it feel to resent your own daughter because your father won’t give you the time of day, but thinks the world of your daughter? What’s more, Claire feels somewhat jealous of Bailey’s success in the art world. The whole thing brings up a multitude of conflicted emotions.
I loved the process of self-discovery in The Only True Genius in the Family as well. Claire embarks on a journey to figure out who she is. In order to do that, she has to come to terms with her relationship with her father and to understand him and his craft. I loved reading about this introspection and character development.
I also enjoyed reading about photography in The Only True Genius in the Family. I’m really interested in professional photography, though I don’t know much about it. Jennie Nash gives us a great glimpse of the life of a photographer, as well as the techniques of the craft. I loved this insight, it took the book to an entirely new level for me.
I definitely recommend The Only True Genius in the Family to any fans of literary fiction. It’s an amazing read; I really can see why everyone has been raving about it!