An Absence So Great
by Jane Kirkpatrick
Did photography replace an absence in her life or expose the truth of her heart's emptiness?
While growing in confidence as a photographer, eighteen-year-old Jessie Ann Gaebele's personal life is at a crossroads. Hoping she's put an unfortunate romantic longing behind her as "water under the bridge," she exiles herself to Milwaukee to operate photographic studios for those owners who have fallen ill with mercury poisoning.
Jessie gains footing in her dream to one day operate her own studio and soon finds herself in other Midwest towns, pursuing her profession. But even a job she loves can't keep painful memories from seeping into her heart when the shadows of a forbidden love threaten to darken the portrait of her life.
My thoughts: This book was ok, but not really what I expected. It is a partially fictionalized account of the author's grandmother. It was interesting in it's portrayal of women in the early 1900's, especially those who wanted to pursue avenues outside of the traditional wife and family, and how they were perceived by society. At the same time, it just didn't feel like a happy book. I know, not all books have to be happy - but you must admit that generally it is more fun to read a book that makes you feel happy.
Being the second book in the series, it took me awhile to get caught up in the story line. Evidently in the first book, A Flickering Light, Jessie was caught up in an inappropriate relationship with her employer, Fred Bauer. He was 26 years older than her and married. An Absence So Great picks up the story a few years later, after she has moved to the Milwaukee area. She is looking to save enough money to open up her own studio and to forget about the indescretions in her past. Even though she has the opportunity to work at several different studios, she seems unable to shake her relationship with Fred, who seems to not be able to stay away from her.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
An Absence So Great
Publisher/Publication Date: WaterBrook Press, March 2010