Monday, December 6, 2010
Book Review: An Absence So Great by Jane Kirkpatrick
Eighteen year-old Jessie Gaebele is making her way in a world obsessed with rigid propriety. Even at her young age, she’s made mistakes, has committed acts for which she must atone. Although she longs for her family, she remains miles away, working in her life’s vocation, photography.
The story weaves the lives of Jessie Gaebele and the married Fred Bauer, a former employer and the person responsible for her self-imposed exile. Jessie strives to overcome the obstacles of a woman achieving a business of her own in a man’s profession, all the while fighting the demon of forbidden love and an all-consuming longing for what can never be.
Jane Kirkpatrick breathes life into her characters, guiding the reader into another world, another time. In An Absence So Great and its prequel, A Flickering Light, Kirkpatrick draws on her own ancestry, skillfully blending actual details with creative situations resulting in a unique perspective of time and place.
Throughout the book, Kirkpatrick features actual historical photographs with vivid descriptions of the subjects and minute details of the photography process. These actual images bring even more awareness of early 19th century America.
I very much enjoyed yet another Jane Kirkpatrick novel. Her writing embodies the human spirit, its weaknesses, its power to overcome and its conquering faith. She is a superb storyteller.
For more information about the author and to sign up for her newsletter Story Sparks, visit www.jkbooks.com.