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.
Not usually my genre choice but I loved it!| Posted April 23, 2013 An Absence so Great by Jane Kirkpatrick caught my attention because it is about a young female photographer living in an early 1900 Midwest. Her journey particularly takes her to southeastern Wisconsin. A really interesting tidbit about this book is that it was inspired by actual photographs taken by the author’s grandmother. As you read through the book you will also see actual photos and get to read the story behind them. Jessie Gaebele’s continuing passion of photography keeps her connected to her past, mainly to the mistakes she’s made. She distances herself from those mistakes with time and distance but as long as she photographs she stays connected. She later on discovers that her photography is not the only thing tying her to her mistake, but the mistake itself. This mistake eventually caused everything she thought to be true in her life to be a lie. This mistake stole from Jessie what she thought to be the very definition of herself. Jessie runs from this mistake again, this time tying all loose ends, and her photography pulls her through. Kirkpatrick does a great job at delving into the most passionate emotions of humankind. This novel is a must read.