Flickering Light

Flickering Light

by Jane Kirkpatrick


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Returning to her Midwest roots, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick draws a page from her grandmother's photo album to capture the interplay between shadow and light, temptation and faith that marks a woman's pursuit of her dreams.

She took exquisite photographs,
but her heart was the true image exposed.

Fifteen-year-old Jessie Ann Gaebele loves nothing more than capturing a gorgeous Minnesota landscape when the sunlight casts its most mesmerizing shadows. So when F.J. Bauer hires her in 1907 to assist in his studio and darkroom, her dreams for a career in photography appear to find root in reality.

With the infamous hazards of the explosive powder used for lighting and the toxic darkroom chemicals, photography is considered a man' s profession. Yet Jessie shows remarkable talent in both the artistry and business of running a studio. She proves less skillful, however, at managing her growing attraction to the very married Mr. Bauer.

This luminous coming-of-age tale deftly exposes the intricate shadows that play across every dream worth pursuing–and the irresistible light that beckons the dreamer on.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781578569809
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/14/2009
Series: Portraits of the Heart Series
Edition description: Original
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 591,180
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Jane Kirkpatrick is a best-selling, award-winning author whose previous historical novels include All Together in One Place and Christy Award finalist A Tendering in the Storm. An international keynote speaker, she has earned regional and national recognition for her stories based on the lives of actual people, including the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Hall of Fame. Jane is a Wisconsin native who since 1974 has lived in Eastern Oregon, where she and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 rugged acres.

Read an Excerpt

AGAINST THE MORNING DARKNESS, Jessie Ann Gaebele quietly litthe stubby candle. Its feeble light flickered at the mirror while she dressed. She pulled her stockings on, donned her chemise, debated about a corset, decided against it. She’d make too much noise getting it hooked. No one was likely to see her this morning anyway, and she’d be back before her mother even knew she’d left the house without it. She could move faster without a “Grecian Bend,” as ladies magazines called the posture forced by the stays and bustle. She guessed some thought it an attractive look for a girl in 1907, emphasizing a small waist and a rounded derrière. Jessie claimed both but had little time for either that morning, and timing mattered if she was to succeed. If Jessie didn’t catch the moment, it wouldn’t be for lack of trying.

She spilled the dark linen skirt over her petticoat, letting it settle at her slender frame. She inhaled the lavender her sister Selma insisted be added when they made their own soap, something they did more often now since they’d moved to Winona, Minnesota. Selma was prone to sensuous scents; sensuous music too, her husky voice holding people hostage when she sang.

Jessie looked at her sleeping sisters. The candlelight cast shadows on the tousled hair of Selma, her younger sister, and on the nightcap that Lilly, her older sister, always wore. (“It will keep you from catching vapors in the night,” Lilly claimed). Jessie pulled on the white shirtwaist. Even in sleep they reflected who they were when awake: Selma, dreamy and romantic; Lilly, organized and right. Always right. Jessie slept somewhere between them, literally. In life she guessed she had a bit of both of those girls’ practices in her. Selma would approve of Jessie’s morning goal for its dreamy adventure; Lilly wouldn’t. But Jessie’d organized it as Lilly would, leaving little to chance. She’d walked the route, knew the obstacles. She anticipated what she’d find when she got there. If she could make it on time.

Luckily there were only five buttons down the back of her blouse, close to the high neck. She considered waking Selma to help her button them but decided against it. Selma would want the details and wake up Lilly, who would question her judgment. Jessie would not lie. Lilly would point out how ridiculous she was being, rising early and setting out for such foolishness when she had an important appointment in the day ahead. “That should be your emphasis,” Lilly would say. She spoke as though she were Jessie’s mother. Oh, she meant well; older sisters did. That’s what her mother told her. But still, Jessie was tired of having every person in the family older than she considered wiser and worldlier too.

So Jessie reached back and buttoned the blouse herself, then centered a beaded-buckle belt on her tiny fifteen-year-old waist. Hat or no hat? Going out in public without her hat would be too casual. Someone just might question what she was doing or, worse, remember and tell her mother. She could get by without the corset, but she’d best wear the hat.

She tossed a shawl around her shoulders, grabbed her shoes, then dropped one by mistake. She held her breath, hoping no one would wake. She blew out the candle and waited.

“Go back to sleep, Selma.”
“What are you up to?”
Jessie moved to her sister’s side of the bed and whispered,
“Don’t wake Lilly, all right? It’s a secret. Can you keep a secret?”Her sister nodded. “I’m going on an adventure.”
“Can I come too?”
“Not this time. But I’ll tell you all about it after you get home from school. Just don’t tell, please? If Mama asks, just say you don’t know. Because you don’t.”
“Is it about a beau?”
“You read too many of those stories in Woman’s Home Companion.
No boys. Nothing like that.”
“I better tell Mama.” She pushed the quilt back onto the empty space where Jessie had slept. “She won’t like you going off by yourself in the night.”
“No!” Jessie looked at Lilly to see if her loud whisper had awakened her.
“It’s nothing. I’ll be back before breakfast.”
“All right. But you’ll tell me everything?”
“Everything necessary,” Jessie said.

Her sister settled back under the quilt, and Jessie picked up her shoe. She’d nearly crippled her adventure before it even started! Shetiptoed past Roy’s room with special quietness, careful of the oak floor that creaked at a certain place near the head of the stairs. Roy had hearing like their mother’s. That woman could tell when any of them squabbled in the bedroom over a hair piece even when she was outside in the yard, hanging up clothes on the far side of the house while the wind blew! Sadness bordered Jessie’s thoughts of her little brother like a photographic frame. Jessie slipped past his room, past her parents’ door, out onto the porch with the swing, and sighed relief.

Outside, Jessie inhaled the morning. Late March and the promise of an early spring. Not long before flowers would poke their heads up through the crusty Minnesota ground. She heard a steamship whistle bawling its presence at Winona’s docks along the Mississippi. The shawl would be enough to ward off the cold once she started walking, and the promised sun would warm her up when she stood still.Within an hour, dawn would offer up its gift but would wait for only a few seconds for Jessie to receive it. After that, the shapes she wanted to capture would change, and soon the snow would be gone, the city would stop the burning, and she’d have to wait another year. She had little time to spare. She couldn’t be late today.

On the porch steps, she pulled on her high-button shoes, then grabbed the heavy leather bag from behind the porch latticework, where she’d placed it the night before. Her uncle August Schoepp had given her the bag and its precious cargo just last year, she supposed in memory of their time at the St. Louis World’s Fair. It was her treasure. She drew the strap over her shoulder, centered the weight on her right hip, then set off, holding the bag out to prevent the bruises it often left behind. The corset might have been a help to support her back against the bag, but it was too late to think of that now.

She set a fast pace on Broadway, liking the feel of the new concrete solidness pounding up through her slender legs. She crossed the street, kept walking. Pigeons flew from the rooftop of the Winona Hotel. Pancakes of dirty snow exposed themselves in the shaded window wells. The clank of railroad cars connecting and departing at the repair yards broke the morning calm. Against the gas streetlights, fingers of elm and maple branches rose before her. There’d be buds on them before long, and the maple sap would drip like dark honey down the trunks, making a rich contrast of brown on black.

She turned the corner, walked several more blocks, then at the lamplight flickering in the bicycle shop’s window, Jessie grinned. Mr. Steffes had remembered. He was not a founder of the city, but he’d been around to see many of its changes while running his cycle livery and dealership and doing repair work on the side.

A bicycle leaned against the framed wall. Maybe he meant for her to just take it. It would certainly save time. But he might have left it for someone else. She’d better go in and check.

Jessie stepped inside, the small bell above the door announcing her arrival. She scanned the room. “Mr. Steffes? I’m here. Is the bicycle outside the one you meant for me to take?” The silence felt heavy. The shop smelled of sawdust, the kind brushed onto the wooden floors to soak up grease and oil. It was awfully cluttered. And still. “Mr. Steffes?” Jessie swallowed. “Remember? I left you a nickel for the use of the bicycle this morning. I said I’d come early.”

She stumbled over a bucket filled with rags. Maybe she could earn the five cents back by offering to clean up this place. That thought made her cringe. Her mother would not be pleased to know she’d spent a nickel of her own hard-earned dollars from the book bindery on something frivolous like a bicycle rental, especially because she’d recently been released from the bindery. There was little money to spare with her father’s illness, which the doctors couldn’t name or fix. He had so much pain that they’d had to leave their Wisconsin dairy farm near Cream and move across the Mississippi into Winona, where the girls could find employment and they could be closer to the doctors. Her father eventually worked in the dray business and drove a team to make deliveries, but they all worried over him, her mother and brother and sisters, fearing he might have one of his episodes and suffer excruciating stomachaches that couldn’t be stopped without laudanum and rest.

Prickles of uncertainty clustered at her temples.This morning’s ride was important too, important for Jessie. If somehow her mother found out she’d spent the money, she’d just have to convince her that it was for a worthy cause—though how she’d do that she wasn’t sure. When she tried to explain this recent pull on her, this desire that came over her, the words came out as flat as a knife and not nearly as sharp.

She’d deal with that later. Jessie pushed her spectacles up on her nose, set her shoulders, and took a forward step, moving past the shadow ghosts of bicycles and what appeared to be one of those new ringer washers in need of repair. Her skirt caught on a bicycle seat. When she straightened, she saw a sliver of light, a thin string that marked the bottom of a back room door. Had it just come on?

“Mr. Steffes, I don’t mean to bother you, but it’s Jessie Gaebele and I was hoping I could just—”

She heard a groan, then what sounded like scuffling followed by a thump.

She readied herself for someone to come charging through the door.When that didn’t happen, she listened to her throbbing heart, swallowed, then pushed the door open to face this complication of her day.

Reading Group Guide

At prearranged times, the author makes herself available by speakerphone to answer questions and participate in book group gatherings. She’s done this from the Netherlands to Nebraska, from Florida to the Pacific Northwest. Arrangements can be made through her Web site at www.jkbooks.com. The use of this guide is not a prerequisite for such phone gatherings.

1. In the author’s own notes prior to writing this story, she described her attitude toward A Flickering Light this way: “This is a story about integrity, wholeness, the blend of soul and role in order to fulfill God’s promise in our lives.” Did she accomplish that goal? Why or why not?

2. What did Jessie Ann Gaebele think she wanted? What got in her way of achieving that? Or did she achieve her goal?
What role did her being a woman in a man’s profession play in the arc of her story?

3. What does Emily Dickinson’s poetic line “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant” have to say about this novel? How do the lines “The Truth must dazzle gradually / Or every man be blind—” apply?

4. How did a sense of unworthiness affect Jessie’s decision making? What role did grief play? How did her sense of self affect the outcome of this story?

5. Who in this story deceived themselves the most: FJ? Mrs. Bauer? Jessie? What truths did they have to tell themselves in order to change the paths they were on? Did they? Why or why not?

6. Do you know gifted people who appear to sabotage or squander their talents? What kinds of actions by others can bring them back, or must one make such a journey alone?

7. Have you ever acted in ways that were contrary to your own self-interest? What might have motivated you? What lessons did you learn from that experience?

8. People engaged in clandestine activities often justify their thinking. A common thread of thought is, No one else is being injured by my actions. In this story, who was adversely affected? Is there anything these people could have done to change their own destinies?

9. How can we offer compassion to people we love who make poor choices, without preventing them from discovering their own truths? Has there been a time in your life when someone spoke the truth with less dazzle so you could see it?

10. What role did artistry play in the lives of these characters? For whom did a particular art form (such as music, textile creation, and photography) provide direction? How?

11. What do you think of the definitions of faith, hope, and love offered by Edward Everett Hale at the beginning of this novel? Did the characters portrayed act in ways that demonstrated those “three eternities”?

12. While most of the story was told in third person, through the eyes of Jessie, FJ, and Mrs. Bauer, what role did the first person accounts and photographs play in your experience of this story? Did their presence distract, or did you look forward to what the next photograph would reveal about Jessie’s life?

13. A Flickering Light is based on the story of the author’s own grandmother. Does that knowledge in any way shape your reading of the book differently than a novel that is formed of fully imagined characters? Were you aware of this prior to reading A Flickering Light? Does the timing of that awareness change your perspective on this story?

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Flickering Light 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
A Flickering Light by Jane Kirkpatrick in the first in the historical fiction series A Portrait of a Woman. Kirkpatrick has fictionalized the story of her grandmother Jessie Gaeble who worked as a photographer's assistant in 1907 Winona, Minnesota for F.J. Bauer. Jessie is a feisty, tiny girl of fifteen when she starts working at Bauer's studio with her own ideas about how photographs should be taken. Bauer takes her under his wing and teaches her how to pose photos, develop them, and run a studio, which is necessary when he succumbs to occasional mercury poisoning leaving him unable to run the business for months on end. Bauer has a less than perfect marriage, and the two are drawn together by their common love of their craft. Kirkpatrick has an unusual talent for creating incredibly real characters. It's the rare book that is so great that its characters find their way into my dreams. For me, that's an indicator of a book that is far above the masses of similar books in the genre. I am completely pulled into the story, and when the final page is turned, find myself missing the characters inside. Thank goodness this is a series! Kirkpatrick captures turn of the century life in a small Midwestern town and fills it with characters the reader can't help but take to heart.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1907 in Winona, fifteen year old Jessie Ann Gaebele loves to take pictures of in Minnesota's beautiful landscapes. Neither her family nor her peers understand the teenage girl's obsession with photography. No one except that is professional photographer F.J. Bauer who feels an affinity with the young girl as he loves picture taking too. He hires her as his apprentice. Jessie Ann proves adept at all the workings involving photography including the use of dangerous toxic chemicals in the backroom and the flash powder used as lighting. However, she feels out of her league as a woman and loaded with guilt when she falls in love with her married mentor as she knows his somewhat difficult wife Jessie is not a bad person. Although he knows not to act on his wants, Bauer finds himself increasingly desiring his apprentice especially her unabated enthusiasm for what he cherishes too, photography. Reaching back to her family tree, historical novelist Jane Kirkpatrick provides readers with a terrific "biographical fiction" of her grandmother as a teen at the turn of the previous century breaking the gender barrier. The key to this super tale is that the prime three players based on real persona are not over the top nasty people; instead the audience will empathize with each. Readers will also obtain a deep look at the danger of photography in the first decade of the twentieth century and cannot help compare it with "danger" of the digital age; as exposure has different connotations. Ms. Kirkpatrick provides a profound look at an era when women were given limited options yet Jessie Ann refuses to allow societal restraints from preventing her from being what she wanted to be and open-minded Bauer encourages her. Harriet Klausner
1crazycatlady on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like other reviewers, I had a hard time connecting with the book. It sounded like it would be right up my alley, historical, photograpy and women's topics, but it didn't keep me reading. I did finish it, over a long period of time. I would leave it and come back to it. There were sections that were better than others and moved at a better pace. Over all, I am glad that I read it, but I am not sure about reading further works...maybe??? The Christian fiction was not glaring and did not make or break the book.
julko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to receive this book as an advanced reader copy, and it seemed right up my alley. Unfortunately I didn't realize it was Christian fiction (the second time this has happened to me). It was less obvious than the other book, so it didn't bother me too much. What was more unfortunate is that the book was not particularly interesting and fairly repetitive. While the main character, Jessie, initially seemed interesting, I didn't feel she grew much as a person. Other characterizations, especially of Mrs. Bauer and Roy, were simplisitic when they could have been much more interesting. Overall a disappointing read.
Lila_Gustavus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a novel set in early 20th century Minnesota detailing the life of Jessie Gaebele. As a fifteen-year old Jessie already knows what she loves and wants to do for the rest of her life: photography. From the moment she gets her first camera from her uncle, she is enchanted by the nature and landscape and wants to capture their beauty forever. Things get complicated when Jessie gets a job in a photo studio of F. J. Bauer and there is now a real possibility that her dream may become a reality as shelearns the trade of photography from an expert. But working with Mr. Bauer soon turns into something much deeper than just taking pictures and as Jessie grows up to become a woman, she has to decide which path to take: follow her dream career or her budding love for F.J.?A Flickering Light was my first book that deals with photography. I have read my share of painters, musicians, poets and writers as main characters, but never a photographer. And I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by what I found in this book. Ms. Kirkpatrick managed to turn this not very interesting to me subject into something I found myself intrigued by. Part of it is probably that this book had a personal meaning to the author, as it is based on the life of her grandmother, who was herself a photographer¿s assistant. Another part of the book that maybe was even more important than the photography aspect, was Jessie¿s drive and determination to overcome whatever troubles may come only to fulfill what truly mattered to her. The book is set in the early 1900¿ but this theme of going after your dreams is as timeless and important as it can get.As I mentioned, A Flickering Light is book one in the Portrait of a Woman series and I gladly will continue with Jessie on her quest for what matters.
Oregonreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As in previous novels, Jane Kirkpatrick has based this story on an historical person, in this case her grandmother. Jessie Ann Gaebele lived in Minnesota in the early years of the 20th century. In the story, she discovers a love of photography and dreams of working in what was then a man's profession. Against her parents wishes, she begins training with a local portrait photographer, F. J. Bauer. Kirkpatrick does a good job of describing photography of the time, the use of glass plates and mixing of dangerous chemicals. The conflict in the story arises as a strong attraction grows between Jessie and her employer. The author does a good job of developing her characters and explaining their motivations. By today's standards, the relationship between Jessie and Bauer is almost innocent, more one of feelings than physical actions. But in the community in which they live, their attraction is sinful and shocking. This is the second of Kirkpatrick's novels that I've read and she seems to be drawn to strong females, struggling to overcome the limits placed on women at the time. This book is very well written, with interesting believable characters. A special treat were the actual photographs taken by Jessie and woven into the plot.
MaryC22 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jane Kirkpatrick's book a Flickering Light was a pleasant surpise. The historical details of the begtinning of modern photography and the struggles young women and families went through to survive during this age of great change was interesting and enlightening. The knowledge that this was based on Jane Kirkpatrick's grandmother and the interspersing of real photographs throughout the book further added to the charm of the book. The love story between Jessie and Mr. Bauer was handled with compassion and great understanding of human nature. Those who enjoy historical fiction as well as Christian fiction will enoy this title.
busyreadin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting premise regarding a young girl's coming of age during a time when women's roles were narrowly defined. Jessie was torn between her desire for a married man and the fear that her secret desire would be revealed. The story captured my attention. The author did a nice job of developing the characters and built relationships in a believable & heartbreaking way. The descriptions regarding the history of photography in the early 1900s was well researched. I enjoyed the book, but felt that is was a bit too long and began to drag toward the end. Worth reading, but not one of my favorites.
bookappeal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A slow-moving story about a young woman in the early 1900s who aspires to become a photographer. Jessie Gaebele takes a job as an assistant to photographer F. J. Bauer, a man whose marriage has suffered since the accidental death of his young son. Jessie and Bauer are drawn to each other and, though they never actually commit adultery, they do share intimacy. When Jessie's secret desires are revealed to her family, she realizes she must leave town altogether to escape the temptation of forbidden love.Kirkpatrick captures the restrictive era in her descriptions of Winona, Minnesota, and early photographer but some of the dialog is awkward and she repetitively describes Jessie's futile attempts to deny her attraction to Mr. Bauer and vice versa. I do not read much Christian fiction so I can't compare to other works in this genre but this story was over-long and rather tedious.
dsdmd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not a book I would have purchased. I'm really not into so-called "coming of age" novels. However, once I started reading, I could not put it down. Ms. Kirkpatrick is a true and gifted storyteller. She has a remarkable ability to take a few words and paint vivid pictures of people, places, and events. I was spell-bound.This is a well researched novel based on her grandmother Jessie's life as a young woman who wants to be a professional photographer in a profession dominated by men in the early 1900s. She is apprenticed by a portrait photographer, an "older man" by her standards (she is only 15 at the time), with whom she becomes infatuated. This is also the story of him and his family. It is impossible to describe the complexity of the story told in this book, which flows easily and simply and beautifully for the reader. It also has actual photographs taken of or by Jessie, which make it even more personal. You come away feeling you know the characters.While this has been described as a Christian book, and it is published by a Christian press, I did not consider it such. It is simply a beautiful story of a remarkable young woman. I am anxiously awaiting the next volume in Jessie's story.
melopher on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jane Kirkpatrick is a standout in Christian Fiction. Her writing is at once soothing and sparkling. A Flickering Light is additionally special because it is based on the author's grandmother's life. Not only that, but it takes place around the turn of the century, an era I don't often see addressed in the Christian Fiction market. I was a little worried when I saw the 'cast of characters' at the beginning of the book, since I often find that to be a way to avoid good character development. This was not the case, however, with this book. The character development was great, and it was very enjoyable to read about the early photography business. The clashes between personality characters were all very believable. It was a great joy to read a Christian book that was not preachy or contrived. It was realistic and satisfying.
Jax450 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like this book and I tried. The story of Jessie and her education in photography was interesting and a good base for the story (I wish there had been more of it). It is inspiring and fun to read the story of a young woman following something she enjoys while dealing with the backlash from family and friends who don't understand.Unfortunately, that was the whole story and the rest of the events seemed contrived and the book stretches on long after I was interested in it. It's valid to say that Jessie's struggles with her actions and her faith are well done and not forced upon the reader. Her interactions with Mr. Bauer seem to be made too much of and were not as intriguing as they could have been. Also, Mrs. Bauer's illness and the interactions between Mr. and Mrs. Bauer are tedious and too long...observations that their relationship was struggling would have been enough and kept the story flowing better. Overall, I struggled to finish this story and won't be reading the sequel. It was a good effort with some enjoyable parts.
palmtreegirl24 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jane Kirkpatrick's first book in the series, Potraits of the Heart, was absolutely enthralling! When I was given this book, I thought it was going to be something I would not be able to get into, but I was so wrong! A Flickering Light is based on the life of Jane Kirkpatrick's grandmother, and knowing that made the story even more intriguing! Jane Kirkpatrick takes her readers on a journey in the life of Jessie, a teenage girl who loves taking pictures. Jessie is a young woman who takes a job in the studio of Mr. Bauer, who has promised to help her learn much about taking pictures and developing them. There at the studio with her friend Voe, Jessie learns all that she can under Mr. Bauer's tutorledge, and also comes to know Mr. Bauer and his family quite well. When Mr. Bauer becomes sick, Jessie helps take over the studio and finds that she does quite well, and wants to spend her life in photography and eventually own her own studio. As the months go by though, Jessie's life is filled with tempatation as she trys to deny her attraction to the very married Mr. Bauer. As Jessie trys to decide what is right she must also decide what is important for her career. Will her growing fondness of Mr. Bauer get in the way? This book was quite different from anything I have ever read. It drew me in from the beginning, from the storytelling to the diary entries and pictures included. All of those things and also Mrs. Kirkpatrick's abounding research made this story, one I will soon not forget!
debs4jc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued by this fascinating story based on the true life courage of a real woman. Jessie Ann Gaeble is that young woman, who's desire to become a professional photographer at the turn of the century is one that is considered unusual for a proper young lady. Nevertheless, she gets a job working at a photography studio--but the attraction between her and her employer, Mr. Bauer, creates a crisis within her soul--and with her family. Jessie's difficult course is highlighted by photographs taken by the real Jessie, which adds much to the story. The historical flavor of the time is captured well, and Jessie's inner dilemma had me thinking much about the struggles we all face wtih temptation. Fans of well told fiction that prompts one to think about spiritual matters should pick this one up--especially if they like historicals.
TooBusyReading on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book sounded very interesting to me, a young girl at the beginning of the 20th century becomes apprentice to a photographer in Minnesota, ¿biographical fiction¿ based on the author's grandmother. I was delighted when a generous winner of an Advanced Reading Copy passed it on to me. As an ARC, it did have errors that most likely were corrected prior to publication, as I expect in an uncorrected proof. Aside from that, I'm afraid it is just not my kind of book. The author is a writer of Christian fiction, not one of my favorite genres, and I did not realize that when I requested it. Still, the book did not get as preachy as it could have. To me, the characters seemed a bit too much cut from cardboard. One of the characters was referred to as ¿damaged Roy¿ because he stuttered. The story moved very slowly for my taste and was repetitive, sometimes boring to me. And, generally not being a romance reader, I really did not like the way the romance was developed. Although there were some insights into the photography of the period, I had hoped for more. I did enjoy the photographs included in the book, thought they were interesting and lovely.
rglossne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not my usual kind of book but I did enjoy it. The premise, that the author based this novel on her grandmother's life, was intriguing. l loved the photographs of the real Jessie, and also the last photograph, and example of her work.The book explored the difficulty of being a woman who wanted a career in the first years of the 20th century, the limits that society placed on her, and the assumptions about what women could and could not do. Mrs. Bauer is shown as a casualty of those assumptions. Jessie's mother flourishes within the constraints of this society.Although I never read inspirational fiction I would pick up the sequel to this, to find out what happens to Jessie and her family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She purred (i gtgtb i got chirch in the mornin. Nite!!)