The Woman in the Photo: A Novel

The Woman in the Photo: A Novel

by Mary Hogan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062386939
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/14/2016
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 214,772
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.97(d)

About the Author

Mary Hogan is the NAPPA Award-winning author of seven young-adult books. Two Sisters is her first novel for adults. She lives in New York City with her husband, Bob, and their dog, Lucy.

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The Woman in the Photo 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Crazy_Beautiful_Reviews More than 1 year ago
The first thing that caught my attention with this novel was the cover. The beautiful shades of green with the woman or girl contrasting in her dark gown. For me its very inviting and intriguing at the same time. The story follows two young woman. One from the past and one from present day. Both from different walks of life, yet having similarities as well. The first girl that we get to know is Elizabeth Haberlin. A girl belonging to a well to do family, off on summer holiday with her family. Although the weather is not really desired, they make do and still manage to enjoy the festivities. The other young woman that we learn about is Lee Parker. An orphan that wants to find out where she comes from and if she happens to have any family left. It's then that she learns she may have a famous relative, or at least someone who would have known her mother. This puts Lee into a tough place because her adoptive mother is showing signs of depression at Lee's new quest. The Woman in the Photo follows these two young women as they each discover their paths in life. Both having different backgrounds, but in the end having more in common than they ever would have thought. Both joyful and saddening, this book is a delightful read from young adults to us kids at heart.
silencenomore More than 1 year ago
Some may have picked this book for the fascinating historical account brought on by the devastation of the Jonestown flood. The era was May 31, 1889, after the catastrophic collapse of the South Fork Dam on the Little Conemmaugh River. A miraculous misfortune of this misconstruction leads to the disastrous devastation in the valley. The author was so moved by the facts of this tragedy she went to do research and wrote a book on the impact . Normally I am not into historical fiction, but this particular book's subject matter caught my eye. The complex requirements of women's dress attire in the 1800's and the necessity to be proper in high society were the main focus for women of the day. The limitations and restraints put on women due to the garments they wore became fascinating to read and valuable in the end. This alternating era brings rushing emotions as an adopted girl turns eighteen and begins searching for her birth family. During events, she comes across a lady in a picture with Clara Barton (of the Red Cross) who helped the people in the Jonestown flood. A bit confusing in the beginning, the correlation between the past and present era. Then when the characters revealed how the history was passed down through generations. The climax towards the ending was nice it all made sense, I would have liked it to sneak in a bit sooner. The interest for me was being an adoptee myself, seeing how the author revealed the information in the plot. I gave the story 4 stars. Great read, with the fantastic real base story with a turn of tragic events, which lead to an uprise in positive results and leverage for a community to rise again. The story could have popped a bit sooner, but overall it was solid wit great characters, and great story. The prize for me, as some reviewers stated I never was taught nor heard about this tragic event. So, I do appreciate the author writing this great story. I honor all the people who lost loved ones, and participated in assisting all the people involved in this tragic event. Bless you.
Suze-Lavender More than 1 year ago
It's 1888 and Elizabeth's family has enough status to spend their summers at a lake in the Allegheny Mountains. The lake is above Johnstown. The inhabitants of the town don't interact much with the people who are staying at the club. The members are elite, people who are proud to be able to afford a place there and look down on the inhabitants of the town. However, Elizabeth doesn't blindly follow the opinions of her parents and can think for herself. Something isn't right with the lake, there's a danger she can't quite process. She also doesn't believe in staying away from the people who are living in Johnstown and becomes friends with Eugene, who works at the local steel mill. When a disaster is about to happen Elizabeth has to make a tough choice, what will she do? Lee and her mother are living in poverty. She was supposed to go to university, but there's no money left to pay for the tuition. Lee's almost eighteen years old and that's when the genetic information of her closed adoption will become available. Lee would love to know more about her ancestors and is especially curious after seeing a photo of one of them standing next to Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. Lee's search brings her to Johnstown, will she like what she finds there and will she be able to embrace her family history? The Woman in the Photo is a beautiful story about two strong girls in different times. Lee is a smart girl who has a glorious future ahead of her. Unfortunately something went wrong and she has to start over with nothing. She's determined to find a way to make her dreams come true in a different way and I admired her spirit and resourcefulnesses. She doesn't give up and even though it isn't easy she's trying to make the best of her situation. Meanwhile she's also looking for her family. Elizabeth is an interesting ancestor. She's clever and headstrong and she and Lee have a lot in common. It was interesting to find out more about their connection and about their lives. I loved how Elizabeth makes up her own mind and tries to follow her own path, no matter the consequences. Mary Hogan writes about two beautiful strong women and I enjoyed every single page of her story. The Woman in the Photo is an impressive coming of age story. Mary Hogan describes life in society with its etiquette and expectations in a gorgeous impressive way. I was intrigued by Elizabeth's world, the rigidity of it, the suffocating rules and customs and the way she tries to escape the shackles that bind her. Mary Hogan skillfully alternates between the past and the present and the stories are equally fascinating. The way she writes about the lake kept me on the edge of my seat. I was spellbound by her story from beginning to end and highly recommend this fantastic book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the historical fiction part of the book. It is the story of Johnstown flood. The second story in modern about an adopted daughter. The historical part of the book is very good. Frankly, I wish the author had gone even more into this part of the story. The modern angle was not as well done. I think it was added to please the publisher to get published because the author adds and sprinkles bits of the liberal mantra like cops killing people. No facts given. The historical story is riveting and tells the culture in a more fair perspective. The novel includes society's elite, a dam destroyed, death and destruction, a love story, a brave young lady, and more. The historical part of the book deserves an A++
MariaATGoodChoiceReading More than 1 year ago
This novel is heartbreaking. I honestly can't think of a better word to describe it. Now, I don't mean heartbreaking in that it was disappointing. No, I'm talking heartbreaking in that it made me fall in love with every single character -- made me care about them deeply -- and then took them all away from me far too soon. The Woman in the Photo revolves around two stories. The first one follows Elizabeth Haberlin in 1888. She's wealthy, she's somewhat spoiled, and she spends her summers in a club that sits in the mountains above Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Johnstown is a working-class town filled with factory workers who have to work hard to maintain the lifestyles of the rich & wealthy living above them. Separating the club from the village? A dam -- one that looks like it could burst at any second. The second story takes place in present-day California, and follows Lee Parker. Lee is a teenager who has just found out that on her 18th birthday, the adoption agency she went through will give her more information about her family. And while she loves her adopted-mother dearly, this is Lee's chance to find out more about where she comes from. Who she really is. When Lee arrives at the adoption agency, they hand over a photo of one of her ancestors. It's a woman standing with Clara Barton, near a devastated and completely destroyed town. The mystery plays itself out from there (I don't want to give you too much more!). I have to say that I absolutely LOVED both of these stories, as well as the bits and pieces of Clara Barton's story as well -- which were like little gold nuggets hidden within the novel. All three of these women are strong-willed, passionate, and completely inspiring. I can't ignore (even if I tried) the real heartbreak of this novel. The fact that the flooding of Johnstown, PA is based on an actual event (you can find out more here). The photos that accompany each of the chapters offer a glimpse into the lives of these innocent individuals who just happened to be a part of one of the worst tragedies in history. I had never heard of this tragedy before reading this novel, but it's now something I will never forget. I highly encourage everyone to pick up this novel and read it ASAP. It's such a fast read. It pulls you right in and keeps you wanting more. And because you know what's coming, it also tugs at your heart strings the entire way through. It's a phenomenal novel. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do! 5 out of 5 stars! Maria --
NicoleUlery More than 1 year ago
I was so intrigued by this story line that I could not pass up a chance to read about the Johnstown Flood. I live not far from the town; I have traveled there on numerous occasions for work or fun. I always held the knowledge that once upon a time, there was a catastrophe that happened there, but I had never learned any of the details. I had never taken a look at what stands today or given thought to what had preceded our time. This had me feeling like I was taking a step back in time. The detail that described the events had me feeling like I was right there as Elizabeth. The structure of the story was well put together. Elizabeth Haberlin's portion of the story is told from the first person, while a brief piece about Clara Barton along with the modern day Elizabeth's (or Lee, as her adopted mother names her) are in third person. Each chapter is marked with the year it is taking place, so you are able to transport from one to the other with ease. I found myself equally wanting to know how present-day Elizabeth manages to find her birth family, along with desiring to know the events surrounding the flood. The detail of the historical events felt well researched. I could easily relate to Elizabeth, watching the events unfolding in front of her eyes. I could feel her emotions. While some things, she did on a whim, I could understand what she does without knowing her exact motivations. I was also fascinated with the other historical figures mentioned in the story; the Fricks and Carnegies. I currently reside about half way between Pittsburgh and Johnstown, so these are people that I'm aware of, but have never read their histories. Seeing them as personalities in this story really helped me cement this in our region. As for Lee's story, I was interested in learning about her. While I could only imagine how she'd feel as an adopted child, I did understand her feeling of not quite belonging and searching for the thing that connects her to her heritage. She embodies a balance of appreciating what she has left after a scandal, while desiring for more. There was a rawness to some of her reactions to things that really brought her to life. There were so many things to take away from this story. Several of the characters took charge of their own lives, casting off what was given to them by birth to create powerful personalities. I've actually fallen on both sides of the question "does your DNA determine who you will become" because I've seen people go against their bloodlines and others who aren't exposed to things that take on the qualities of their family members. This story will make you think about so many things. I'd highly recommend this story. It isn't a quick read, but a thought-provoking one that will tempt you to delve more into the history of our area. But whether you are from the Pittsburgh region or not, I think people who love seeing history come alive will appreciate this novel. Also, the additions of the photographs from 1889 were delightful. I also very much enjoyed reading the few pages added at the end where the author told how she developed the story; an extended version of the Q&A included above. My recommendation: buy the paperback so you can loan it to friends and family members. I received a copy of this story from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
H hyt y yt t y