The Photographer's Boy

Stephen Bates. Premier Digital Publishing (Canadian Manda Group, Canadian dist.; Ingram, U.S. dist.), $15.95 trade paper (350p) ISBN 978-1-62467-206-4
Chance saves Gene from a seat on United Flight 93; post-9/11 trauma sends timorous Gene Hofsettler and wife Isabelle to the backwater refuge of small town New England. There, they find a hidden trove of old photographic plates, relics dating back to the American Civil War. Their effort to learn more about the plates and their creation provides the frame for two linked stories, the tale of a young photographer Alfred Barker in the Civil War and the story of Barker's grandson Jim's ill-fated romance with would-be actress Annabelle-Lee Morrow. The three stories—modern, Depression era and Civil War—cast an illuminating light on the fables people tell themselves and on the realities many prefer to forget. The Civil War photographs, seemingly clear in content and meaning, take on new significance in fuller context; what appears to be simple documentation proves more akin to pandering sensationalism. Similarly, the simple stories people tell themselves about romance and family prove unreliable guides to the complexities of life. Veteran British Journalist and non-fiction author Bates' debut novel is an unflinching but sympathetic, often touching, look at the comforting fictions people wrap themselves in to protect themselves from the cold of reality. Agent: Charlie Viney, The Viney Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/06/2014
Release date: 07/01/2013
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-62467-166-1
Ebook - 350 pages - 978-1-4804-3976-4
Paperback - 350 pages - 978-1-4976-6106-6
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