The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan
Posted by brriske
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?
4 fantastic hearts
We follow two ladies in two different time periods, Elizabeth Haberlin in the 1800’s and Lee Parker in the current times. Both ladies experience traumatic events that change their lives. They each had their lives laid out but they chose to adapt to the changes and made a different future for themselves.
In 1888, society’s elite vacation to a Lake above Johnstown PA. The lake was manmade and the locals always fear the lake, stating that it would be the death of them one day. Elizabeth is cursed with a brain and uses it. Women of her time period do no think. But she’s looking at the road into the lake, the bridge and spillway, just to make sure that their escape isn’t really a death-trap for the town below.
Present Day, Lee Parker always knew that she was adopted, but she always felt loved. She had her whole life in planned out, as soon as her college acceptance letter hit the mailbox, it may as well have been a nuclear explosion. She knew that her whole college fund was in savings, she just knew it. What she didn’t know what that her father thought that he could invest it and make more money. They were essentially broke. It tore their entire family apart. Now her and her mother are living in the pool house trying to make the best of their lives. Lee had received a notice from Social Services stating that they had information for the adoptee upon her 18th birthday. How will this information change her, if at all?
This was a great read. I really likes flipping back and forth through time periods and the way that Mary Hogan managed to bring everything to an end without leaving the reader confused.
***Reviewer for Romance Authors that Rock***