Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan

In The Woman in the Photo, Lee Parker digs into her family's history after her adoption records are unsealed and she sees a photograph of a woman. The photograph shows a woman, who looks like her, standing amidst a pile of rubble next to Clara Barton, the founder of the Red Cross. What she discovers will change her life forever.

I loved this book! It was inspired by a real life disaster in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where a dam in the mountains above the town bursts and floods the town.

The story alternates between the past, 1889, and the present. The past features Elizabeth Haberlin, a young woman of privilege and her life at an exclusive country club in the Allegheny Mountains near Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The present features financially strapped Lee and her adoptive mother as Lee digs into her family's past.

I especially like the sections that take place in the past. The setting and the language used by the author felt authentic to the time period. I loved reading about how the wealthy lived and how the young people of the time were expected to behave. The story also highlights the disparity between the wealthy and the working class of the area.

This story features a person from real life, Clara Barton. I love it when real life people become characters into fictional stories. The author includes a lot about Barton's history and how she founded the Red Cross. All of this information was fascinating.

This edition of the book includes an additional section at the back of the book, which contains information about the author, and the real life story on which the book is based, a reading group guide as well as a book synopsis of Hogan's other book. It's definitely worth the read.

I've also read Two Sisters and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I haven't written my review yet.

Highly recommended. I hope to read another book by this author.

For more information about this book, please visit the HarperCollins website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at William Morrow for this review copy. Sorry the review is so late.

The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan William Morrow (HarperCollins), ©2016. ISBN 9780062386939(Trade paperback), 406p.

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