Friday, April 17, 2009

A Flickering Light - by Jane Kirkpatrick

I have to admit, this novel surprised me! I've only recently in the last two years or so gotten interested in historicals - and this one went places many don't!

If you're looking for a good read (not to be confused with a light read! This book is heavy at times and in some chapters even a little hard to get through because of that, but the story does have a very satisfactory ending. Besides, its a series, so there is even more hope!) you will love this novel.

And guess what? Its based on a TRUE story of a woman photographer - the author's own grandmother! What a great twist!

From Publishers Weekly: Starred Review.

Historical novelist Kirkpatrick (A Tendering in the Storm) is exceptionally authentic in her use of early 20th-century history. Virtually all the characters are real figures; protagonist Jessie Ann Gaebele is inspired in this biographical fiction by the writer's own grandmother. Jessie Ann loves photography, and when she is hired as an assistant to photographer F.J. Bauer, she learns about the field of her dreams and also about herself, as she finds herself attracted to her married boss, who battles his own feelings in return. Kirkpatrick renders the war among desire, duty and restraint with exquisite nuance. There are no unsympathetic characters in this tangle of relationships. Bauer's wife—also named Jessie—may be difficult to live with, but she has her reasons. The period detail—dangerous chemicals used in photography, debilitating and frequent illnesses, the routine constraints on women's choices—offers a compelling portrait of the time. Kirkpatrick deserves a wide audience for this coming-of-age tale that is aching and hopeful.

You can see more about Jane and her novels HERE and buy this novel through Amazon HERE!


Linda said...

What a dynamite story. I had a niece who wanted to go into photography, but her parents wouldn't let her go to the school up here where I live. So sad, as that was her joy. This sounds like a great read to see what she would have encountered, albeit it was in the late 1990s when my niece wanted to go.

Jane Kirkpatrick said...

Hi Betsy, thanks for posting your thoughts about my latest novel and including the Pub Weekly starred review too! You're right: there are some hard parts in this book so I'm glad you persisted. So did my grandmother! I admired her greatly. Congratulations on your book and writing life too! Not easy to fit all that in with kiddos to look after too. I commend you! Warmly, Jane