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Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Only True Genius in the Family by Jennie Nash

The Only True Genius in the Family

Publisher: Berkley Trade
ISBN: 0425225755
Pages: 304 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Summary from Publisher:

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…

My Review:

I really liked this novel. A lot. I started this book dismissing it as chick lit but the book I read was much different and much deeper.

I had so much sympathy for Claire. I know what it feels like to feel like you are lacking compared to others. I could imagine the anguish she must have felt believing her father, who she always wanted the approval of, loved her less because she was not as gifted and artistic as he would have liked her to be. I understand her feelings in way that I did not think that I would.

The origin of genius and talent is also something I have never thought of before and I found it pretty interesting when I did. Is genius genetic or is it learned? I don’t know. My dad is a genius in math and both my sister and I are veritable dunces when it comes to math. But then again, my father is an engineer and I managed to gain his talent for computers and technology. I also gained my love for reading from my mother. So, I do think that these forms of aptitude can be genetic but that genius can’t be learned is, I think, false.

As you can tell, this book made me think. I was struck by this book and I was surprised about how much. It was very well written. The characters were great. The only character that I did not like was Bailey. She seemed to be temperamental, bratty and overly critical of her mother. She seemed to look down on Claire. I think she was part of the reason for Claire’s inferiority complex. I wanted to see more of Harrison. He was such a good guy.

I really liked this book and think you will as well. Especially if you are looking for an introspective novel masquerading as chick lit.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  1. Thanks for the review. I saw this at Borders a few weeks ago and added it to my TBR list. After reading your review, I think I need to move it higher on my list.

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  4. Thanks for the review. I hadn't heard of this book, but it sounds like my kind of read!

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