Review of A Flickering Light by Jane Kirkpatrick

Posted 29 March, 2010 by Molly(Cover To Cover Cafe) in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

About the Book:

She took exquisite photographs but her heart was the true image exposed.  Returning to her Midwest roots, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick draws a page from her grandmother’s photo album to capture the interplay between temptation and faith that marks a woman’s pursuit of her dreams.
 “Jessie Ann Gaebele loves photography, and when she is hired as an assistant to photographer F.J. Bauer, she learns about the field of her dreams and also about herself, as she finds herself attracted to her married boss, who battles his own feelings in return. Kirkpatrick renders the war among desire, duty and restraint with exquisite nuance. There are no unsympathetic characters in this tangle of relationships. Bauer’s wife—also named Jessie—may be difficult to live with, but she has her reasons. The period detail—dangerous chemicals used in photography, debilitating and frequent illnesses, the routine constraints on women’s choices—offers a compelling portrait of the time. Kirkpatrick deserves a wide audience for this coming-of-age tale that is aching and hopeful.” (Apr.)  Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review. First in a two book Portrait of the Heart Collection.  Named to Library Journals Best Books of 2009.
About the Author:

Reviewers and readers alike acclaim Jane’s work as unique in a world of storytellers. “Kirkpatrick’s books enfold the reader. They whisper ‘let me tell you about a woman who….’ They find a secret place in each of us and bring it gently to the surface.” The Statesman Journal, Salem Oregon.

Jane Kirkpatrick is a writer and speaker whose works have appeared in over 50 national publications and who has written nineteen books most based on the lives of actual historical women. With humor and inspiration, she speaks internationally about the power of story in our lives at events from across the country and beyond in Canada, Italy and France. Her speaking and teaching also reflect stories of inspiration and courage believing that our lives are the stories other people read first. Her many historical novels most based on the lives of actual people, speak of timeless themes of hardiness, faith, commitment, hope and love. Her works have won national awards including the Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center and the WILLA Literary Award from Women Writing the West. Other titles have been finalists for the Spur, Christy, Reader’s Choice, Oregon Book Award and WILLA award and have been chosen as book club features and alternates. Her novel A Flickering Light was recently named to Library Journal’s Best Books of 2009.
Jane received her undergraduate degree in communications and public address from the University of Wisconsin -Madison, in her home state. After completing a master’s degree in Social Work at the UW-Milwaukee, she began her career as a mental health professional in Oregon eventually becoming the director of the Deschutes County Mental Health program. She was elected as the first woman president of the community mental health director’s association in Oregon. For seventeen years she worked with children and families facing the challenges of disabilities on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Her first book, a memoir Homestead, tells the story of her own journey to follow a dream in the remote property on Starvation Point that became the home of her and husband of 33 years, Jerry. The story has inspired thousands to follow their hearts and trust that they are not alone on their journeys.

My Review:
My overall opinion of Ms. Kirkpatrick’s book, A Flickering Light, is good. However, I must be honest and say that I had trouble in the beginning with this book completely capturing me. It was a very slow start and I had a hard time keeping focused on reading the book. But, it did pick up after the first 4 or 5 chapters and was able to hold my interest.

I love how Ms. Kirkpatrick used Jessie’s photos that she took and incorporated them into the book. The fact that most of these characters through out the book are based on actual historical people, is just fascinating. The style of Ms. Kirkpatrick’s writing is wonderful. She has a true talent for capturing the essence of history  and bringing it to us in a well written start to a turn-of-century series. I loved her work. The story line of how women weren’t to seek work, but the fact that Jessie did, was intriguing. I am a little disappointed, however, with the fact that Ms. Kirkpatrick used a growing romance between Jessie and FJ Bauer, her employer, simply because FJ was a married man. I think that if Ms. Kirkpatrick wanted to have a budding romance of some sort there should have been a different man to capture Jessie’s interests as I think it takes away from the morals and the Godly attributes to the rest of the story.

Overall, I will have to say that this was an interesting fictional book and I think there are others out there who will enjoy it. I give it a 4 star rating, since there were a few things that I didn’t agree with, but that I did end up enjoying the story after the first few chapters. I do want to say, that the cover of this book is absolutely amazing! I LOVE it!

You can purchase your copy by clicking here
*This book was provided for review, courtesy of the author, Jane Kirkpatrick*



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