In this novel that reads like nonfiction, Clara Brodeur, who was driven out of New York City to get away from her mother, a famous photographer, returns to see her on her deathbed. It is upon her return that the reader learns that Clara herself became famous at a young age as the subject of her mother's famous series of nudes.
Unsurprisingly, Clara carries some scars from her past, and her father was conflicted as well by trying to reconcile his love for his wife with his desire to protect his daughter. The past becomes all the more real since Clara now has a daughter of her own who is the spitting image of the famous "girl in the photos" and Clara's mother wants to reissue the images as a book for the final installment of her legacy.
Although the subject is a little disturbing, this is a pretty good book. It says a lot about love and what can ultimately be forgiven, or at least understood. It is told in a compelling way that really makes you think about what you would do if you were in Clara's place.
At first I thought this book was going to be all cheesy and treacly about a girl making up with her mother, and it struck me with the dark tones. This actually drew me more into the story because I ended up disliking the mother instead of feeling sorry for her. It really turned my opinion of this type of book on its head.