Synopses & Reviews
In 1920s Jerusalem, civic advisor and architect Charles Ashton has an ambitious (and crazy) project to redesign the Holy City by importing English parks to the desert and knocking down Ottoman minarets. He employs William Harrington, a British pilot, to take aerial photographs of the city and surrounding desert. At this time, Palestine, under British administration, is a surprisingly peaceful mix of British colonials, exiled Armenians, and Greek, Arab, and Jewish officials rubbing elbows, but there are simmers of trouble ahead. Eleanora, the young English wife of a famous Jerusalem photographer, meets and falls for Harrington, threatening her marriage, particularly when William discovers that Eleanora's husband is part of an underground nationalist group intent on removing the British.
Years later, in 1937, Ashton's daughter Prue, an artist who has escaped the pressures of the London art world and a damaging marriage to live a reclusive life in Sussex by the Sea, is paid a visit by Harrington. What he reveals unravels her world, and she must follow the threads that lead her back to secrets long-ago buried in Jerusalem.
With its evocative, atmospheric landscape and its historical backdrop with profound resonance for world-stage events today, The Photographer's Wife is a powerful story of betrayal: between father and daughter; between husband and wife; and by officials during the complex period between the two world wars.
"An impressive debut, its prose as lucid and deep as a mountain lake." —New York Times Book Review
, Editor's Choice, on A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
"At its heart, this exquisite novel celebrates the gifts that travel into far-off cultures confers: the displacements that throw into resilient relief our transcendent human connections." —National Geographic Traveler book of the month, on A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
"It takes less than a page for Suzanne Joinson to seize your attention . . . . there is so much here that is wonderful: the author's crisp, uncluttered story-telling, her graceful prose, and her ability to inhabit the character of a young woman in 1924 and a contemporary young woman with equal depth and ease. It is an impressive first novel." —Boston Globe on A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
"Joinson tells Eva's and Frieda's stories in alternating chapters, her strong, clear prose adding depth to their disparate lives and exposing the parallels between them." —USA Today on A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
The hotly anticipated new novel by the author of A Lady Cyclists Guide to Kashgar, hailed for her “crisp, uncluttered storytelling” and her “graceful prose” (The Boston Globe).
In 1920s Jerusalem, eleven-year-old Prudence watches her architect father launch an ambitious (and crazy) plan to redesign the Holy City by importing English parks to the desert. He employs a British pilot, William Harrington, to take aerial photographs of the city, and soon Prue becomes uncomfortably aware of the attraction flaring between Harrington and Eleanora, the young English wife of a famous Jerusalem photographer. Palestine has been a surprisingly harmonious mix of British colonials, exiled Armenians, and Greek, Arab, and Jewish officials rubbing elbows, but there are simmers of trouble ahead. When Harrington learns that Eleanora's husband is part of an underground group intent on removing the British, a dangerous game begins.
Years later, in 1937, Prue is an artist living a reclusive life by the sea when Harrington pays her a surprise visit. What he reveals unravels her world, and she must follow the threads that lead her back to secrets long-ago buried in Jerusalem.
The Photographer's Wife is a powerful story of betrayal: between father and daughter, between husband and wife, and between nations and people, set in the complex period between the two world wars.
About the Author
Suzanne Joinson is the author of A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar. In 2007 she won the New Writing Ventures award for Creative Non-Fiction. She is completing a PhD in literature and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. Joinson's personal blog can be found online at http://delicatelittlebirds.wordpress.com, and she tweets at @suzyjoinson. Visit her Web site at www.suzannejoinson.com. Joinson lives in England, in West Sussex, with her husband and two children.