Five Minutes with Maggie
Black and White beautifully portrays the difficult relationship between mothers and daughters. The novel simultaneously explores the intimate relationship between an artist and her subject. Clara's mother Ruth is a world-famous photographer who built her career on revealing photographs of young Clara. Accused of being exploitative and pornographic, Ruth struggles to defend herself to critics and family alike. Clara escapes the scrutiny and begins her own life and family away from the public's watchful eye. When Ruth begins to die of lung cancer, Clara must face her past and her future as both daughter and muse.
The language of the novel is evocative and emotional. Shapiro elegantly captures the intricacies of love between women – mothers, daughters, sisters, friends – and results in an emotional resonance that any woman can identify with.