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The Woman in the Photo: A Novel by Mary…
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The Woman in the Photo: A Novel

by Mary Hogan

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This is the first historical fiction I have read that deals with the flooding of Johnstown on May 31st, 1889. This is a very dramatic and tragic aspect of the book and one of the reasons I liked the book so much was just the fact that it really moved me.

But, I'm getting ahead in the story. We are first introduced to the characters in the dual stories, Elizabeth Haberlin a rich young woman who spends the summers by the beautiful lake above the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. She spends the summers rubbing shoulders with the Carnegies, Mellons, and Fricks and she seems at first to be just another rich spoiled girl. But, as the story progresses do we learn more and more about her she is actually a very bright, although sheltered girl. And, a disastrous event will change her whole life...

In the present story do we meet Lee Parker, who on her 18th birthday finally learns more about her real mother. She was adopted as a baby and she loves her adopted mother, but she has a need to find out more about where she came from. In her papers is there a photo of her mother, standing in a pile of rubble from a disaster, besides Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. She got curious and decides to find out more about this...

I really liked this book, the class differences that are a large part when it comes to both stories. At first, I found Elizabeth Haberlin a bit hard to connect to, but after a while did she start to grow on me and towards the end did I find myself really liking her. Contrary did I find Lee Parker to be right from the very start a fabulous character, easy to connect with. I also liked how the Jewish lifestyle was a big part of both stories. All and all is this a great book! ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
What a wonderful wonderful ending to both protagonists in the end of the book. Now I can understand, after having read the epilogue, why the older protagonist was written in first-person. This book is such a well juxtaposed rendition of both historical fiction and a modern setting including , even barely touching , on the rights of women, the accomplishments of determined women like Clara Barton, and a tragedy based on class indifference. ( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
What a wonderful wonderful ending to both protagonists in the end of the book. Now I can understand, after having read the epilogue, why the older protagonist was written in first-person. This book is such a well juxtaposed rendition of both historical fiction and a modern setting including , even barely touching , on the rights of women, the accomplishments of determined women like Clara Barton, and a tragedy based on class indifference. ( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
This novel tell the fictional story of a young girl seeking her biological mother. She uncovers a photo of a woman who may be a relation standing alongside Clara Barton in the aftermath of the 1889 Johnstown Flood. It was good and compelling, I enjoyed it. ( )
  AstridG | Aug 24, 2017 |
When I was a kid, my dad was offered a position in Johnstown, but turned it down, despite a good salary, because, to him, Johnstown meant "flood". This was in the 1960's. The flood was May 1889, and though it was associated with heavy rains, the cause was completely man-made. Still, Daddy couldn't move past the cultural memory and turned the job down.

I read this book simply to learn more about the flood. The story (or rather both stories, because there's a past and a present one) was incidental. I like the historical photographs that were included and refreshing myself on Clara Barton. What a fascinating image to think of the Johnstowners looking up into the mountain sky, and seeing sailboats there from the killer lake that rested behind the South Fork Dam on the Little Conemaugh River.

From the publisher:
In this compulsively readable historical novel, from the author of the critically-acclaimed Two Sisters, comes the story of two young women—one in America’s Gilded Age, one in scrappy modern-day California—whose lives are linked by a single tragic afternoon in history.

1888: Elizabeth Haberlin, of the Pittsburgh Haberlins, spends every summer with her family on a beautiful lake in an exclusive club. Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains above the working class community of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the private retreat is patronized by society’s elite. Elizabeth summers with Carnegies, Mellons, and Fricks, following the rigid etiquette of her class. But Elizabeth is blessed (cursed) with a mind of her own. Case in point: her friendship with Eugene Eggar, a Johnstown steel mill worker. And when Elizabeth discovers that the club’s poorly maintained dam is about to burst and send 20 million tons of water careening down the mountain, she risks all to warn Eugene and the townspeople in the lake’s deadly shadow.

Present day: On her 18th birthday, genetic information from Lee Parker’s closed adoption is unlocked. She also sees an old photograph of a genetic relative—a 19th century woman with hair and eyes likes hers—standing in a pile of rubble from an ecological disaster next to none other than Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. Determined to identify the woman in the photo and unearth the mystery of that captured moment, Lee digs into history. Her journey takes her from California to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, from her present financial woes to her past of privilege, from the daily grind to an epic disaster. Once Lee’s heroic DNA is revealed, will she decide to forge a new fate? ( )
  bookczuk | Jul 20, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Important events
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Awards and honors
Epigraph
"You and your people are in no danger from our enterprise." - Benjamin F. Ruff, President of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club
Dedication
To the resilient people of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Past and present.
First words
"Elizabeth, please!" Mother looks away from the train window long enough to eye me sharply. "Why do you test me?"
Quotations
"Biology is destiny, my darling. We all must be who we are meant to be."
"A leopard that is born a leopard and raised a leopard will never be a house cat."
The moment I saw the woman in that photo---my blood---I realized how much I'd needed to know all along.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006238693X, Paperback)

In this compulsively-readable historical novel, from the author of the critically-acclaimed Two Sisters, comes the story of two young women—one in America’s Gilded Age, one in scrappy modern-day California—whose lives are linked by a single tragic afternoon in history.

1888: Elizabeth Haberlin, of the Pittsburgh Haberlins, spends every summer with her family on a beautiful lake in an exclusive club. Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains above the working class community of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the private retreat is patronized by society’s elite. Elizabeth summers with Carnegies, Mellons, and Fricks, following the rigid etiquette of her class. But Elizabeth is blessed (cursed) with a mind of her own. Case in point: her friendship with Eugene Eggar, a Johnstown steel mill worker. And when Elizabeth discovers that the club’s poorly maintained dam is about to burst and send 20 million tons of water careening down the mountain, she risks all to warn Eugene and the townspeople in the lake’s deadly shadow.

Present day: On her eighteenth birthday, genetic information from Lee Parker’s closed adoption is unlocked. She also sees an old photograph of a genetic relative—a 19th Century woman with hair and eyes likes hers—standing in a pile of rubble from an ecological disaster next to none other than Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. Determined to identify the woman in the photo and unearth the mystery of that captured moment, Lee digs into history. Her journey takes her from California to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, from her present financial woes to her past of privilege, from the daily grind to an epic disaster. Once Lee’s heroic DNA is revealed, will she decide to forge a new fate?

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 20 Apr 2016 22:35:04 -0400)

On her eighteenth birthday, genetic information from Lee Parker's closed adoption is unlocked. She also sees an old photograph of a genetic relative, a nineteenth Century woman with hair and eyes likes hers, standing in a pile of rubble from an ecological disaster next to none other than Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. Determined to identify the woman in the photo and unearth the mystery of that captured moment, Lee digs into history. Her journey takes her from California to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, from her present financial woes to her past of privilege, from the daily grind to an epic disaster. Once Lee's heroic DNA is revealed, will she decide to forge a new fate?

» see all 2 descriptions

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