Books: Focal Points FAMILY PICTURES by Sue Miller

Harper & Row; 389 pages; $19.95

FAMILY PICTURES by Sue Miller

Harper & Row; 389 pages; $19.95

The thumping message in Sue Miller's previous novel, The Good Mother, was that society has a double standard when judging parental behavior. The man who cats around is not necessarily a bad father, but if a woman (even one who is estranged from her spouse) has a sleep-over friend, she is a bad mother. The issue can be overstated or, as was the case with The Good Mother, overprogrammed. Yet the underlying truth cannot be quibbled away.

Much the same could be said about Miller's second novel, Family Pictures. The...

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