Title: The Girl in the Photograph
Author: Kate Riordan
Published: January 15th 2015 by Penguin Books
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Gothic
Source: I received my copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 3/5 stars
The Girl in the Photograph is a haunting and atmospheric novel that tells the tales of women in two different eras – the 1890’s and 1930’s – and how their lives seem to be entwined by fate. Kate Riordan’s novel is a beautifully dark and beguiling tale which will sweep you away. It will appeal to fans of Kate Morton and Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca.
‘The Girl in the Photograph’ by Kate Riordan began with great promise but I thought the pace a little bit too slow and that it wound up fizzling out a bit towards the end. The story is told by two women, Alice in 1933 and Elizabeth in 1898, who both live at the Gothic and secluded English country estate, Firecombe Manor. When Alice became pregnant to her married boyfriend her mother sent her away to stay with her childhood friend, Edith Jelphs, who works as a maid at Firecomb Manor.
Alice soon discovers Elizabeth’s old diaries and begins a quest to discover all of the mysteries that Firecombe Manor holds. Even though Edith worked for Elizabeth she is reluctant to speak about the past, so Alice is left to do most of the investigating on her own, with a bit of help from a local historian.
I particularly enjoyed the chapters of ‘The Girl in the Photograph’ which were told from Elizabeth’s perspective. They had a real mysterious and Gothic feel to them and I was really interested to find out what happened to her and her children. I did feel though that Alice’s chapters dragged on a bit and that the ending was rather anticlimactic, but these are all very likely just a matter of my own personal preferences. The story was well written and the mysteries are subtly, although slowly, revealed in a way that will appeal to readers who enjoy Gothic mysteries.