Jane Kirkpatrick is such a talented author. I fell in love with her style of writing with Love to Water Her Soul and All Together in One Place. Jane has a way of drawing you into the characters’ minds and hearts, and at the same time she brings history to life – not really historical moments so much, but the feel of a historical time.
An Absence So Great delves into the mind of a young girl, Jessie, only 18, who has left her family, her home, and everything she knows to escape a forbidden relationship she found herself in with a married man – the photographer she worked with.
Will her love for photography and drive to start her own business get her through the pain of remembrance?
Another wonderful book by Jane Kirkpatrick! An Absence So Great delighted me with its portrayal of photography in 1900, and I learned a lot about the thoughts that go through a photographer’s mind while taking portraits and their attention to detail – their relationship with the portrait subject is really more than just “sit and hold the pose”. It was really very illuminating, and I loved Jessie’s sensitivity and insight – the way she related to her customers.
Almost every chapter ended with a real portrait from the early 1900’s – I loved this addition! I know that the characters in the book were very close to real-life people and I’m not sure how much of the addition of the photographs were a part of the true story, but it was really fascinating. I enjoyed imagining what the people were thinking in real life while having their photos taken.
I loved the book because the style of writing is right up my alley, and I love Jane Kirkpatrick; however, the book was a little sad at parts, and a little slow. The struggles Jessie goes through are right there on the page and it’s a little hard to see her turn her feelings off. That’s always hard to see – whether on the page or in real life. Still, I found the book to be worth reading, and I would recommend it. Maybe just make sure you’re in the right mood.
Alternatively, you can start with a few of my favorite books by Jane (click covers to find out more about them):
Then come back to this one. :-)
An Absence So Great is a companion novel to A Flickering of Light. The first part of Jessie’s story can be found in A Flickering of Light. I did not read the first book before reading this one, and it read fine as a stand-alone novel.
About the author, Jane Kirkpatrick:
Jane Kirkpatrick is an award-winning author of sixteen historical novels, including A Flickering Light, the first part of Jessie Gaebale’s story, and three nonfiction titles. Known for her unique insights into the exploration of community, family and faith of actual historical women, the Wisconsin native and her husband have called their ranch in Oregon home for the past 25 years.
I would like to thank the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing me with a complimentary copy of the book reviewed. I am also an Amazon.com affiliate!