Thursday, April 1, 2010

review and tour: an absence so great by jane kirkpatrick

In An Absence So Great, Jane Kirkpatrick tells the partially fictionalized story of her grandmother, Jessie Gaebele. Although Jessie grew up in a time when women were expected to marry and care for their children, Jessie went for more. At 15 she trained with one of the photographers in her hometown. An Absence So Great picks up her story three years later when she’s working as a photographer in another town. Though Jessie would like to return home, she feels she cannot until she has enough money to open her own studio. There’s no way she can work for the photographer who trained her because Jessie and Fred developed a slightly inappropriate relationship. Fred is married with children, so he’s off limits. That fact doesn’t stop Fred from inserting himself in her life, though. Of course, Jessie gets drawn back in as Fred can’t seem to stop himself from pursuing her.

I thoroughly enjoyed Jessie’s story though I didn’t like how she kept being pulled back in by Fred (can't change those facts though). Her plan to make it on her own in Seattle seemed like a much better idea. Though I understand that Kirkpatrick wanted to keep Jessie’s story as accurate as possible, I would’ve loved to have more detail on some aspects of Jessie’s life, such as when she was a photographer’s assistant at a prison!
Review copy provided by the publisher, WaterBrook Press.

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