Angie's Take: Jane Kirkpatrick built emotion into this book from the very first page. Many women today still battle their dreams and their duties. I loved Jessie's desire to be who she was created to be. I think that's every woman's desire. But the circumstances in life don't always seem to make that possible. The author uses the beauty of history to explore a woman's heart, talent, and creativity. She handles the brokenness of divorce with honesty. My great-grandparents divorced in 1907. It happened, though less prevalent as now. I'm so glad this author brought out the reality. The photos shared in the book from the early 1900's are real and totally enhance the story. It's wonderful to imagine what was going on in the photographer's head while the shot is taken. An Absence So Great is an absolutely fresh and fascinating book!
Summary:Inspired by the engaging stories told through her grandmother’s photographs taken at the turn of the century, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick provides a portrait of the tension between darkness and light in the soul of a young woman pursuing her professional dreams.
Despite growing in confidence as a photographer, eighteen-year-old Jessie Ann Gaebele’s personal life is still 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 ill with mercury poisoning.
Jessie gains footing on her dream to one day own her own studio and soon finds herself in other Midwest towns, pursuing her profession. But even a job she loves can’t keep those painful memories from seeping into her heart, and the shadows of a forbidden love threaten to darken the portrait of her life.
Author Bio:Jane Kirkpatrick is an award-winning author of sixteen historical novels, including A Flickering Light, the first part of Jessie Gaebale’s story, and three nonfiction titles. Known for her unique insights into the exploration of community, family and faith of actual historical women, the Wisconsin native and her husband have called their ranch in Oregon home for the past 25 years.