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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Review: The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan

I had the opportunity to review The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan. If you love a good historical novel, with a touch of romance, I would definitely recommend this novel. See below for the synopsis and my review. 

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?

My Review:
4.5 Stars
The first thing that caught my attention with this novel was the cover. The beautiful shades of green with the woman or girl contrasting in her dark gown. For me its very inviting and intriguing at the same time.

The story follows two young woman. One from the past and one from present day. Both from different walks of life, yet having similarities as well.

The first girl that we get to know is Elizabeth Haberlin. A girl belonging to a well to do family, off on summer holiday with her family. Although the weather is not really desired, they make do and still manage to enjoy the festivities.

The other young woman that we learn about is Lee Parker. An orphan that wants to find out where she comes from and if she happens to have any family left. It's then that she learns she may have a famous relative, or at least someone who would have known her mother. This puts Lee into a tough place because her adoptive mother is showing signs of depression at Lee's new quest.

The Woman in the Photo follows these two young women as they each discover their paths in life. Both having different backgrounds, but in the end having more in common than they ever would have thought. Both joyful and saddening, this book is a delightful read from young adults to us kids at heart. 

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