From the best-selling author of How to Make an American Quilt comes a powerful and sweeping novel inspired by the lives of famous female photographers.
A deeply affecting meditation on the lives of women artists, Whitney Otto's vivid novel explores the ambitions, passions, conflicts and desires of eight female photographers throughout the 20th century. This spectacular cast of spirited, larger-than-life women offers wide-ranging insight about the times in which they lived. From San Francisco to New York, London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, and Rome, Otto spins a magical, romantic tale that creates a compelling portrait of the history of feminism and of photography.
While their circumstances may differ, the tensions these women experience - from wanting a private life or a public life; passion or security; art or domesticity; children or creative freedom - are universal. Otto seamlessly weaves together eight breathtaking vignettes to form a moving and emotionally satisfying novel.
Would you listen to Eight Girls Taking Pictures again? Why?
It was fascinating, and a great performance!
Who was your favorite character and why?
Lennie, because she reinvented herself so well and because her backstory was such a clear motivation.
Have you listened to any of Joy Osmanski’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Yes, and this one lived up to my high opinion of her talents.
Any additional comments?
I had to check several times to make sure I was mistaken about the facts of this story. It seems so real. The Period detail about women artists is fabulous!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The above title leaves nothing more to be said... besides this: do yourself a favor & don't miss listening to this gem ♡
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
As a woman photographer, a lover of people and their stories, I really wanted to love this book.
Had the author settled on "what is this book" and picked a position from which to tell the stories of these women, I believe it could have been a wonderful read.
What could Whitney Otto have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
Had the author stayed with a consistent approach to these stories as a whole, kept with the emotion, thought processes, and experiences of the women rather than go on informational tangents I think it could have held together more and been more enjoyable.
How could the performance have been better?
The performance was fine.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
The opening story had some compelling moments that were infused with authenticity and promise.
Any additional comments?
The book seems to suffer from an identity problem. Is it a documentary? No. Docudrama? Hmm, not exactly. Fiction? It is fictional, sort of, but not a work of fiction. An socialist/communist editorial? A poor one. The book is fragmented and disappointing.
Would you try another book from Whitney Otto and/or Joy Osmanski?
As a reader, I like consume at least two different offerings from an author before I decide whether to add them to my "must read" list. Although it is clear that this book was a labor of love for the author, I found it lacking in a couple of areas. Primarily, I found the stories hard to follow because there were a lot of "flashbacks" (for lack of a better term). Without reading/listening to the book in its entirety at one time, I could never keep up with whether the character was in the present or back in an earlier time.Secondarily, it was difficult to see how the eight girls were all tied together. The author tried her best to insert dates and create a timeline of events from the first story to the last, but again, as someone who was listening to the story over the course of many days, it proved too daunting a task to memorize who was where at what time.The stories, in and of themselves, are good ones and I enjoyed them individually. The characters were well developed, the descriptions of people and places were very detailed, and it was interesting to hear the author's imagined events as they many have been related to the real, historical ones. My disillusionment with the book began when I realized that the narratives were supposed to be tied to each other throughout history, and I could not keep the timeline in my mind. The final story would have been so much richer for me if there had been a clearer image in my head of who lived when, with whom, and where they had traveled.Overall, I would recommend this book for anyone that enjoys photography, as they will find the subject matter fascinating, and those who enjoy short stories.
If you’ve listened to books by Whitney Otto before, how does this one compare?
I have never listened to or read books by Whitney Otto before.
What aspect of Joy Osmanski’s performance would you have changed?
Ms. Osmanski did a fine job narrating the stories of the eight girls as written by Ms. Otto. There were just a few instances where I felt as though the reflection in her voice did not resonate with where I thought the characters were in the story. In addition, there were two places in the narration where I sensed that Ms. Osmanski may have been tired.
Do you think Eight Girls Taking Pictures needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
I do not feel that this book needs a follow-up because seven of the eight girls would have died by the time the last story reaches its end. The subject matter does not seem to lend itself to telling additional parts of the stories of the eight girls.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful