From its intriguing title to its perfect closing line (don’t cheat and read it first!), this compelling story skips between two time frames, telling the story of the mother and her son, a former MP, who has retired, disgraced. Though he barely knew her, the story slowly reveals the impact her choices made upon his whole life.
What did I like about this novel? So many things that I’m going to have to resort to bullet points:
- fabulous title and cover
- well-developed characters, not just the two key roles but lots of bit great parts and cameo roles too
- feisty heroine
- affectionate and evocative descriptions of Edwardian Brighton providing a memorable sense of place, at times cinematic (and what a great film this book would make)
- sensitive descriptions of the photographic process and its results
- clear depiction of the effect of war on ordinary people
- thought-provoking theme of how the development of photography affected ordinary people as well as history’s bigger picture
- stunning writing, with points of brilliance scattered effortlessly throughout
- dignified and fulfilling ending for both key characters
The is the kind of book that will stay with readers for a very long time and continue to affect their world view long term, particularly whenever they see old photographs. I will definitely be reading more of this author’s work – and the good news is that she’s written plenty more of them!
Find out more about Jane Davis on her website here: www.jane-davis.co.uk