Monday, March 29, 2010

book review – An Absence So Great by Jane Kirkpatrick



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.


My thoughts:

This is the sequel to another book but reads very well on it’s own.  I admit, it would probably be better to read the first one first, but I didn’t.


That said, Jane Kirkpatrick wrote a beautiful work when she penned (or typed) this one.  I loved the old photographs and the stories that went along with them. I enjoyed how they tied in with the unfolding story of Jessie. It is also not the ending that I expected.


If you are expecting a “romance” novel, this probably isn’t one for you. If you are wanting a story about trying to follow God’s will – not always successfully – then you will enjoy this book. I really did.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to read the book and for seeing the struggles we all have in doing what is right. My grandmother, on whom the story is based, went on to have five children and among her descendants are several pastors, missionaries, people involved in music ministries, all faithful followers of Christ. Happy reading. Warmly, Jane Kirkpatrick