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The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan

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Currently reading: The Power by Naomi Alderman
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan

Postby Vanessa » Sat December 27th, 2014, 1:34 pm

The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan

When Alice Eveleigh arrives at Fiercombe Manor during the long, languid summer of 1933, she finds a house steeped in mystery and brimming with secrets. Sadness permeates its empty rooms and the isolated valley seems crowded with ghosts, none more alluring than Elizabeth Stanton whose only traces remain in a few tantalisingly blurred photographs. Why will no one speak of her? What happened a generation ago to make her vanish?

As the sun beats down relentlessly, Alice becomes ever more determined to unearth the truth about the girl in the photograph - and stop her own life from becoming an eerie echo of Elizabeth's . . .

My Review

I was immediately drawn into this captivating dual timeframe story, set in the 1890s and 1930s, told in the third and first person respectively. It revolves around two women whose situations uncannily mirror each other somewhat.

Alice Eveleigh has been sent to Fiercombe Manor in rural Gloucesteshire after she becomes pregnant by a married man, to await the birth and avoid a scandal. There she discovers letters and a diary belonging to the lady of the manor, Elizabeth Stanton, who lived on the estate 40 years previously. As Alice digs deeper into the mystery of Elizabeth's life, she uncovers a sad secret. The two stories are linked by the enigmatic Edith Jelphs, an old friend of Alice's mother, who was once maid to Elizabeth and who is now the housekeeper. Just what is she hiding?

This is an absorbing and atmospheric tale, very much a page turner for me. It is beautifully, lyrically and expressively written. The descriptions of the surroundings are very vivid and easy to imagine. Dual timeframe novels are my favourite genre and this one did not disappoint. The switch between Alice and Elizabeth's stories is expertly executed and completely seamless.

I found 'The Girl in the Photograph' an immensely enjoyable and gripping read, which should definitely appeal to fans of Kate Morton.

Many thanks to Real Readers for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book, which will be published on 15 January.

Rating: 5*
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sat December 27th, 2014, 3:40 pm

Hmm--sounds interesting! I'll add it to the TBR list. Thanks for the review.

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Currently reading: Under a Pole Star by Stef Penney
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Sun December 28th, 2014, 11:37 am

On my list as well.
Currently reading "Under a Pole Star" by Stef Penney

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