Feb 4, 2015

The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan

When Alice Eveleigh arrives at Fiercombe Manor during the long, languid summer of 1933, she finds a house steeped in mystery and brimming with secrets. Sadness permeates its empty rooms and the isolated valley seems crowded with ghosts, none more alluring than Elizabeth Stanton whose only traces remain in a few tantalisingly blurred photographs. Why will no one speak of her? What happened a generation ago to make her vanish?

As the sun beats down relentlessly, Alice becomes ever more determined to unearth the truth about the girl in the photograph - and stop her own life from becoming an eerie echo of Elizabeth's ...

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 Alice has gotten herself in trouble, it's 1933 and she's pregnant with a married man's child. Her mother arranges a stay at Fiercombe Manor under false pretenses. The house is gorgeous and the surroundings are beautiful, but Alice soon discovers that it isn't a peaceful place to live. It's filled with sadness and ghosts from unhappy times in the past. She desperately tries to find out what happened and she's especially interested in Elizabeth, whose diary she's found in a secret hiding place, but nobody wants to talk about her. Alice's search for the truth becomes more and more obsessive every day. She's desperate to find out the secrets that are being kept in Fiercombe Manor. Will she be careful and safe enough? She also has her future to worry about, what will happen once she's delivered the baby?
 The Girl in the Photograph is a beautifully written story about two pregnant women whose lives are connected through Fiercombe Manor. Both stories were equally fascinating. I could understand the constant stress and worry as Alice and Elizabeth didn't have an easy time while being there. Bit by bit all the secrets are being revealed and that has been done in such a clever way. I couldn't wait to find out what they were. I liked the fact that the story never became predictable. It kept me glued to my seat right until the end. The two stories were constantly linked in a smart and engaging way which made them even more interesting for me. I enjoyed reading this novel very much, it's really, really good.

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