Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review: Picture This by Jacqueline Sheehan

Rocky Pelligrino moved to Peaks Island, Maine after the unexpected death of her husband. Reeling from her loss, she traded in her job as a college psychologist for animal control warden on the island. In this sequel to Lost and Found, Rocky is slowly unfreezing emotionally and starting to make connections and open her heart up to life again. She has some wonderful neighbors who care about her, a budding romantic relationship, a thoughtful boss, and of course, Cooper, the big black lab, who saved her as surely as she saved him from the arrow that almost killed him.

But recovery is fragile and Rocky is about to get derailed. First the phone rings and a girl claiming to be the biological daughter of Rocky's late husband is on the other end. Then she sees Hill, for whom she has come to care quite a lot, with his estranged wife and she knows that she cannot tolerate a cheater. She is completely emotionally overwhelmed and makes some impulsive choices without thinking things through. She breaks it off with Hill before she even hears his explanation. She buys a house on the island which needs some serious renovation. And she invites the very damaged Natalie, who might or might not be Bob's biological daughter, to move in with her thinking that this girl/woman could be a way for her to preserve a piece of Bob.

The narration of the book rotates among the different characters, including Cooper the dog and the neglected house Rocky's bought. This allows the reader to see the internal motivations of not only Rocky as the main character but also those around her. And it is in being privy to every character's thoughts that the reader realizes, long before Rocky does, that everything is not as it seems and she needs to be on her guard. While this narrative technique gives the reader additional insight into the story, it is initially a bit choppy and the addition of Cooper's narration and the house's narration might come off as too far fetched for some readers. It is frustrating, if understandable, to watch Rocky, who is clearly intelligent, make such foolhardy choices because she is still so close to the clutches of crippling grief.

Rocky's relationships with the other characters seem very tenous in the novel. Perhaps reading the first book would have changed this for this reader, laying a groundwork missing here. Rocky's attachment to Natalie and her horror at hearing how the foster system damaged her beyond belief is much better fleshed out, as it must be since Natalie is a new character in this book. And really, the story here centers around Rocky and Natalie and the truth that stands between them rather than about Rocky and the community of people who have embraced her. There is some pretty strong foreshadowing here but the actual turn of events in the end of the novel are surprising. The tension increases as the story progresses and the island folk become embroiled in a situation not of their making. Some of the resolutions are a little too easy but overall this is a nice read and fans of the first book will enjoy revisiting with Rocky and Cooper and the people of Peaks Island.

For more information about Jacqueline Sheehan and the book visit her website or her Facebook page. Follow the rest of the blog tour or look at the amazon reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book.

Thanks to Trish from TLC Book Tours and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book to review.


  1. The 2nd half of your third paragraph is EXACTLY the way I felt about this book...very frustrating to hang in there with Rocky as she kept making terrible, impulsive decisions...and while I was ok with Cooper's perspective in the first book, Lost and Found, I could not get on board with the House's perspective. While I like Sheehan's type of narration, it became a little much in Picture This. Incredible review! :)

  2. I'm glad to know that fans of the first book will enjoy where the story goes in this new book. Thanks for being on the tour!


I have had to disable the anonymous comment option to cut down on the spam and I apologize to those of you for whom this makes commenting a chore. I hope you'll still opt to leave me your thoughts. I love to hear what you think, especially so I know I'm not just whistling into the wind here at my computer.

Popular Posts