29 March, 2016

The girl in the photograph by Kate Riordan

Years ago I enjoyed reading gothic suspense books by authors such as Daphne Du Maurier, Susan Howatch and Mary Stewart. The girl in the photograph reminded me of that style with its haunting, moody undertones.
Set in an old manor house the story is of two women living in different eras, Alice from the 1930s and Elizabeth from the 1890s.

Unmarried and pregnant, Alice is sent to stay at Fiercombe Manor where her mother’s old friend Mrs Jelphs is the housekeeper. The owners live overseas but there are traces of them everywhere in the house and grounds, including photographs that intrigue Alice. She senses there are underlying secrets about the family and begins to piece together the past from snippets that Mrs Jelphs reveals and the fortuitous discovery of Lady Elizabeth’s diary. Elizabeth too was pregnant, so Alice feels an empathy with her and is keen to learn what happened to her and her child.

This is a well-told story where twists in the tale are revealed slowly. Chapters are narrated by both women and as Alice finds out Elizabeth's sad story, the reader does too. I found myself thinking about the conclusion well after I'd finished the book which is always a good thing!

Title: The girl in the photograph
Author: Kate Riordan

Kathy N can’t sleep unless she has read a bit before turning the light off. As well as most fiction, she enjoys craft and lifestyle books to get project ideas for her rural home. She spends most of her working day buying books for Auckland Libraries.

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