Suzanne Joinson first came onto my radar with A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar, a book I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten around to yet. So when The Photographer’s Wife, Joinson’s latest novel came across my desk, I couldn’t pass it up. Set in 1920s Jerusalem and filled with political intrigue, I knew I’d love it from the start.
Like most novels with a dual narrative – one set in the past and one in the present – i was naturally drawn more to one of them. In this case it was the historical narrative – it was that setting that initially drew me to the book. I loved Joinson’s rendering of Jerusalem and the complex issues surrounding the 11 year old protagonist. It is difficult to tell a story through the eyes of a child without making her obnoxiously precocious or overly dear, but Joinson pulls it off.
I only had one complaint about the The Photographer’s Wife, and that was the ending. I read it on my e-reader so I could not see how many pages I had left and all of the sudden it was over. I wasn’t ready to leave that world, but it left me rather abruptly. But I have to ask myself, was it me or was it the book?
Who would like this novel? The Photographer’s Wife is both atmospheric and very well researched. Based on that, i’m moving A Lady Cyclist’s Guide up in my queue. I had previously worried that it would be trite and overlook or simplify the complex regional political issues of the day. I see now with The Photographer’s Wife that Joinson will present a well-researched and nuanced story.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.