The Woman in the Photo

For Christmas, nearly all of the gifts that I received were books. My sister-in-law gave me copies of Lord of the Rings and Little Women. My younger sister, Rachel, gifted me a Shakespearean Insult Generator and Pride and Prejudice book tabs. Lastly, my sister Sara gave me a book that I had never read before, The Woman in the Photo.

The Woman in the Photo is written by Mary Hogan. This is an excellent example of my favorite genre of all time: historical fiction! This book is especially neat since it ties the present to the past.

Lee Parker is an 18-year-old who recently found out that some of the medical records surrounding her adoption have been unsealed. Her adoptive father recently left her and her mother and so she clings to the hope that she can find out more information about her birth family.

Besides discovering her family's medical history, she learns that her birth mother left her one item: a photograph of one of her maternal ancestors, Elizabeth Haberlin, next to Clara Barton, the founder of the Red Cross.

The book follows Lee as she continues to learn more about Elizabeth and the terrible circumstances that brought her together with Clara and changed her life, and the life of Lee forever. The message of this book is that birth and DNA don't determine destiny!

This is the first book by Mary Hogan that I've read and I'd say that I am extremely impressed! She has written several other books, primarily YA lit and I hope that someday I will have a chance to pick some of them up. The connections that she drew between the past (most of the events which happened were actual historical happenings) and the present time, made the story come alive. I feel both Elizabeth and Lee were relatable characters and found myself cheering them on and hoping for a happy ending.

I recommend this book for those looking for a great young-adult read as well as those who love a good historical fiction book!


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