Blog Tour: The Photograph by Debbie Rix
Today I am joining the blog tour for The Photograph by Debbie Rix. I am a big fan of historical fiction and really enjoyed this book, which smoothly jumped between 1958 and 2017.
If you loved The Letter by Kathryn Hughes and The Hourglass by Tracy Rees you’ll be swept away by this stunning summer read. Italy, 1958: Rachael is a young widow with a small child. After a lifetime of running for survival, of not knowing who to trust and where to call home, she finds herself in a place of safety. On a sun-drenched Italian island for one carefree summer the troubles of her past fade away and she falls in love. But will Rachael’s new-found happiness bring her further heartache? England, 2017: Sophie has a handsome husband, a gorgeous house in the English countryside and a successful career as an anthropologist. But the one thing she longs for is a baby of her own. As she struggles to conceive, cracks begin to appear in her marriage. So Sophie throws herself into her work and tries to seek comfort in childhood memories of her beloved grandmother Rachael. One afternoon, Sophie finds a forgotten letter and an exquisite silk bracelet hidden in Rachael’s old writing desk. Intrigued, she begins to unravel the extraordinary story of her grandmother’s past - and a secret that has the power to change everything… The Photograph is an utterly beautiful and compelling story of love, loss and a family secret spanning generations.
My Review: 4 ****
As I mention above, The Photograph tells two stories, separated by time and space and yet connected by the characters. Often in books like these, I prefer one story line quite a bit over the other, but in The Photograph, I actually liked them equally. I should also mention one of my favorite parts of this novel, the settings. I am usually such a character and plot driven person when I choose my books, I often forget about setting, but here it almost plays a character in itself! It takes place in the English countryside and in Italy and both places were described so vividly, it really transported me as a reader.
Sophie in 2017 England has a wonderful life, but longs for a baby. She thinks of her grandmother Rachael and find a bracelet in her old writing desk. This sets her on a path to learn more about Rachael and her past and by that token, Sophie's own.
I connected to both characters and enjoyed reading their story, especially when the element of mystery was introduced. I don't want to give anything away, but the ending was also very satisfying to me. There were parts I thought were a tiny bit predictable, but it didn't really bother me or detract from my enjoyment of the story. The whole book is about relationships, dealing with obstacles and tragedy, finding love and friendship and I sped through it. Debbie Rix has earned herself another fan!
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About the author:
Debbie Rix has written four novels, the latest of which - 'The Photograph' - will be published on June 27th 2018. The story crosses generations and continents as Sophie, desperate for a child of her own, uncovers the extraordinary secrets of her grandmother, Rachael, fifty years earlier.
Earlier this year Debbie was shortlisted for the RNA's Historical Novel category for her third novel 'The Silk Weaver's Wife' (pub: 19th July 2017) about a silk designer named Anastasia from Verona whose life is almost destroyed when she is forced into a marriage to a Venetian silk weaver. In the present day Millie visits an old villa near Verona and uncovers a lost painting. Who is the woman in the painting and how will her experiences affect Millie's life?
Debbie's debut 'The Girl with Emerald Eyes', reached the No.1 spot in Amazon's Italian category. Set amidst the world of medieval Italy, it explores the creation of the most famous building in the world - the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Her second novel - 'Daughters of the Silk Road' topped the historical fiction charts, reaching No.1 in Italian, Women's fiction and Mystery, Thriller & Suspense and spent many weeks in the top 100 best selling lists. It follows the fortunes of a family of merchant explorers who bring a Ming vase back to Venice from China in 15th century.
Debbie spends a lot of time in Italy and the setting of the novels reflects her knowledge and passion for the country. She lives in the Kent countryside with her journalist husband, children, sheep, chickens and cats. When not writing, she is usually to be found in the vegetable garden. She began her career with the BBC- initially as the news reader on Breakfast Time, thereafter appearing as a presenter and reporter on a variety of factual and light entertainment television series. She had a spell as an Agony Aunt, and has also written about gardens and gardening - one of her private passions.
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