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The Woman in the Photo: A Novel Kindle Edition
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In this compulsively-readable historical novel, from the author of the critically-acclaimed Two Sisters, comes the story of two young women—one in America’s Gilded Age, one in scrappy modern-day California—whose lives are linked by a single tragic afternoon in history.
1888: Elizabeth Haberlin, of the Pittsburgh Haberlins, spends every summer with her family on a beautiful lake in an exclusive club. Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains above the working class community of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the private retreat is patronized by society’s elite. Elizabeth summers with Carnegies, Mellons, and Fricks, following the rigid etiquette of her class. But Elizabeth is blessed (cursed) with a mind of her own. Case in point: her friendship with Eugene Eggar, a Johnstown steel mill worker. And when Elizabeth discovers that the club’s poorly maintained dam is about to burst and send 20 million tons of water careening down the mountain, she risks all to warn Eugene and the townspeople in the lake’s deadly shadow.
Present day: On her eighteenth birthday, genetic information from Lee Parker’s closed adoption is unlocked. She also sees an old photograph of a genetic relative—a 19th Century woman with hair and eyes likes hers—standing in a pile of rubble from an ecological disaster next to none other than Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. Determined to identify the woman in the photo and unearth the mystery of that captured moment, Lee digs into history. Her journey takes her from California to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, from her present financial woes to her past of privilege, from the daily grind to an epic disaster. Once Lee’s heroic DNA is revealed, will she decide to forge a new fate?
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“A fascinating snapshot of two women separated by time—each compelling in her own right - who together make for a novel so appealing you can’t stop reading. Well-researched history and modern intrigue, original and heartfelt.... a thoroughly captivating novel” (New York Times Bestselling author MJ Rose)
“a wonderful story of two young women coming into their own. [...] a beautiful work of historical fiction [...] Hogan does a brilliant job at weaving their two stories together to make one fabulous novel about growing up and discovering who you are in more ways than one.” (NY Daily News)
Mary Hogan expertly uses the tragic story of the Johnstown Flood as background for a fascinating tale of two women, generations apart, who defy expectations to find their own paths to happiness and purpose. Awash in historical detail, this book is a real page-turner.-- "Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author" --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B015MOCRWC
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks (June 14, 2016)
- Publication date : June 14, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 5923 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 418 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #277,344 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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The story is something of a "now and then" sandwich combining a "present day" story about Lee, a young woman interested in her birth family as she turns 18 with a "flashback" story of Elizabeth Haberlin, a wealthy young woman living in the late 1880s (at the time of the Flood). I appreciate that rather than flipping back and forth every chapter, the book centers first on Lee, then extensively on Elizabeth, then back to Lee so you are able to fully immerse yourself in the story at hand. There are a few plot weaknesses -- ie: the relationship between Elizabeth and Eugene would most likely never have met, and even if they did, the evolution of their friendship is a bit forced (I'm being generous.) Overall, however, the story is interesting, and the exposure it gives to the Jonestown Flood makes it well worth reading!
I was very much drawn into to the historical story of Elizabeth's experiences and found those parts of the book to be very interesting. The modern portions, however, were far less compelling. A young woman searching for her birth family could have been interesting, but just felt rather flat. Additionally, the connection between the two stories seemed to be rather improbable. I appreciate the way the author connected both young women's views of class differences, but would have found the book more interesting if the focus had been on the historical, perhaps enclosed in a prologue and epilogue of the present.
Mary Hogan compellingly intertwines the lives of a modern-day family and one from more than a century ago. As an adoptive mom, I appreciated her exploration of the mother-daughter bond when birth family questions are added to the mix.
The decisions we make have down-stream consequences for now and the future -- both deadly and life-giving.