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About the Book:
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.
About the Author:
Jane Kirkpatrick is a best-selling, award-winning author whose previous historical novels include All Together in One Place and Christy Award finalist A Tendering in the Storm. An international keynote speaker, she has earned regional and national recognition for her stories based on the lives of actual people, including the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Hall of Fame. Jane is a Wisconsin native who since 1974 has lived in Eastern Oregon, where she and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 rugged acres.
An Absence So Great is the continuing story of Jessie Gaebele. It is well written by a talented author. I was able to be captured a bit easier with this book than I was with A Flickering Light, as it wasn’t as slow to start off as book 1 was. However, I do still have an issue with the romance area of the book. The detail in this book with the historical events and scenes was just a wonderful blend with the characters. The detail on mercury posioning was not only well done, but also an educational aspect, as I didn’t know about the mercury posioning and it really brought light to that issue for me. Tragic and emotional.
Over all, I enjoyed reading this book more than I did A Flickering Light (see my review here), except for the fact that Jessie’s relationship with her former employer still bothers me. The fact that this book is so powerful with the issue of forgiveness is great. And for a woman trying to prove herself equal to a man during a time when it just wasn’t right for a woman to work outside the home is well brought out in this book.
I give An Absence So Great 4 stars. The research Kirkpatrick did was great, as she brought us a family history in the form of a well written, emotionally powerful, enjoyable book. I do recommend An Absence So Great, however, I highly suggest that you read book 1, A Flickering Light, first, as An Absence starts off shortly after the end of the first book. And again, the cover is phenomenol!!! BEAUTIFULLY done!!!
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