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  • Michael Braccia

Book Review: The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

Book Review: The Girl in the Photograph (Kate Riordan)

Alice Eveleigh, settled in a steady office job in 1932, has an affair with a married man. She becomes pregnant and under pressure from her mother to move away to have the baby. The father, a man she works with, no longer wants her even though he doesn’t know about the baby.

Alice is moved from London to a private estate, Fiercombe, in a remote Gloucestershire valley. She is to stay there until the baby is born, after which her mother planned to have the baby adopted. Out of sight, out of mind, Mrs Eveleigh wants to avoid scandal and gossip, typical of 1930s Britain. Alice develops close relationships at Fiercombe, and investigates the previous occupants of the manor. This includes Elizabeth, the lady of the house in the 1890s. Alice discovers her secrets, bit by bit, finding parallels with her own life.

Kate Riordan uses the ‘modern day’ life of Alice to draw comparisons with the morals and language of Victorian England, actually finding that nothing much had changed. Alice struggles with her own moral position and doing battle with the ghosts that Riordan says are “the ones that take up residence in your mind”. Anyone who enjoyed Rebecca or readers of Kate Mosse and Kate Morton should enjoy this novel.

Michael Braccia

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