Inspired by the engaging stories told through her grandmother’s photographs taken at the turn of the century, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick provides a portrait of the tension between darkness and light in the soul of a young woman pursuing her professional dreams.
Despite growing in confidence as a photographer, eighteen-year-old Jessie Ann Gaebele’s personal life is still at a crossroads. Hoping she’s put an unfortunate romantic longing behind her as “water under the bridge,” she exiles herself to Milwaukee to operate photographic studios for those ill with mercury poisoning.
Jessie gains footing on her dream to one day own her own studio and soon finds herself in other Midwest towns, pursuing her profession. But even a job she loves can’t keep those painful memories from seeping into her heart, and the shadows of a forbidden love threaten to darken the portrait of her life.
My review of the book:
I have not read a novel in quite a while. But when I noticed what this book was about I jumped at the chance to read and review this book. Once I got the book I could not put it down. The story was very compelling and I could not wait to find out what happened. While some of the story is made up many of the facts are there from Jessie's life as told by her granddaughter. This kind of story always interest me.
This book offered a glimpse at what life was like in Milwaukee in the early 1900's. Since I grew up in Milwaukee it was great to imagine myself there with Jessie. It was very interesting to hear about how the world of photography was back in the 1900's. Jessie was among only a handful of other women photographers. She did not let that stand in her way and was very successful in her career as a photographer. I felt like I knew Jessie, like we could have been good friends. The author did a wonderful job of painting the story of her grandmother and sharing the details of her (not always easy) life in a way that made you feel as though you were right there walking to work with Jessie.
Even if you are not a photographer or have never lived in Milwaukee this is a great book to read. You feel as though you are part of the family and always ready to cheer Jessie on in her next adventure. The stories of love and sadness, life and death, marriage and family are all woven together on the pages in such a way that you feel like you're right there with them. I would be honored if my granddaughter one day wrote such an eloquent story about me.
About the author:
Jane Kirkpatrick is an award-winning author of sixteen A Flickering Light, the first part of Jessie Gaebale’s story, and three nonfiction titles. Known for her unique insights into the exploration of community, family and faith of actual historical women, the Wisconsin native and her husband have called their ranch in Oregon home for the past 25 years.
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This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.