The People in the Photo by Helene Gestern is a work of fiction translated from French and set in Europe. This book drew my attention from the outset. Photos are a powerful tool in our family history which inspire and help to add layers to our research. The author uses a clever storytelling device by the use of letters, emails and postcards to unite the two main characters in their quest to find the truth behind the hidden stories of a somewhat common past. Between the letters are detailed descriptions of the photos that are the foundation of the story. Though fiction, the author provides a good example of how a photo can be dissected for clues in a research journey.
The story of Helene and Stephane and their respective parents - Sylvia and Pierre in the end was a little far- fetched but an enjoyable light read. This book perhaps ultimately proved that the power of a photograph can bring people together. A lofty thing indeed!