Book Review: The People in the Photo

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!

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