April 5, 2010

An Absence so Great

Let me just start off by saying that I am a HUGE Jane Kirkpatrick fan.  I really enjoy historical novels, and especially novels about strong, independent women who question and go against what society claims is "right" for them.  While her novels are Christian fiction, Christianity is weaved subtly through the novels.  This may make some people uncomfortable, I find it refreshing.  While I am a Christian, I like novels that I can relate to, not something that feels like I am reading a devotional.  If that makes sense.

Anyways, I was exited to receive a copy of this for review for two reasons.  First, Jane Kirkpatrick!  Second, the main character is a photographer and I am a photography nerd.

Here's from the back of 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.

So while I enjoyed this book, I can honestly say it isn't her best.  But it was good, beautifully written.  Even though some parts were slow, and I found myself wanting to kick Jesse now and again, it definitely kept my interest, especially since she was writing about a family member.  Jesse just isn't a character in a novel, she was her grandmother.

And I absolutely LOVED the way Ms. Kirkpatrick included photos of the characters in between chapters, along with notes on what Jesse was thinking and feeling when she took the photograph.  I thought that was an awesome addition to the book and added depth to the story.  It made the characters seem that much more real.  That, and I really enjoy looking at old photographs of people.  I find it interesting.

So yes, if you like nonfiction historical novels, I would recommend this book.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

To purchase this book, please visit WaterBrook Multnomah by clicking here.

But maybe you'd like the chance to win a copy?   Just leave a comment saying you'd like to win it.  The giveaway will be open now until Friday, April 9.  Please make sure you leave a way for me to get in contact with you!


  1. I love historical fiction books based upon strong women also! I just finished reading Francine Rivers' latest book, "Her Mother’s Hope" which is a fabulous story about strong women and especially the complex relationship between mother's and daughter's- based on the author's actual family heritage! Fascinating book. Just thought I would share.

    Please enter me into the drawing I would love to win a copy of "An Absence So Great."

  2. Hi Becky, you seem to be the only one that entered! Soo....if you will please email me your address at jdyrholm@comcast.net I will be able to get the book out to you!


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