I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.
The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan is a book that had my rapt attention from start to finish. The book takes place in two time periods: present day, and also the end of the 1880s. The Woman in the Photo follows Elizabeth Haberlin, an elite member of Pittsburgh society, who spends her summers at their private retreat in the Allegheny Mountains high above Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The story also follows the present day story of Lee Parker, who turns 18 and has her closed adoption file opened, providing genetic information.
Living in Ohio, but near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, many of the names of the society people were familiar to me. Before reading this book, I did not know really anything about the Johnstown Flood. The Woman in the Photo has sparked that interest for me and it’s something I have looked into further as a result. I found the archival photos at the beginnings of some of the chapters really helped bring the story to life.
I really enjoyed the character of Elizabeth ~ she was smart and strong and when it mattered most, she went against everything society taught her and she did what was right. Honestly, I would have enjoyed the story had it only been an historical fiction rendering of the Johnstown Flood and Elizabeth’s story, and didn’t have a present-day component. I found myself wanting Lee’s chapters in the book to go quickly so that I could head back in time with Elizabeth. I liked how the story came full circle at the end, though, and how Lee’s story was important as well.
The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan was a riveting read that I found myself flying through. I am looking forward to reading more books written by this author.
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