The Woman in the Photo

A Novel
Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (144 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this compulsively listenable historical novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Two Sisters comes the story of two young women - one in America's Gilded Age, one in scrappy modern-day California - whose lives are linked by a single tragic afternoon in history.

1888
Elizabeth Haberlin, of the Pittsburgh Haberlins, spends every summer with her family on a beautiful lake in an exclusive club. Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains above the working-class community of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the private retreat is patronized by society's elite. Elizabeth summers with Carnegies, Mellons, and Fricks, following the rigid etiquette of her class. But Elizabeth is blessed (cursed) with a mind of her own. Case in point: her friendship with Eugene Eggar, a Johnstown steel mill worker. And when Elizabeth discovers that the club's poorly maintained dam is about to burst and send 20 million tons of water careening down the mountain, she risks all to warn Eugene and the townspeople in the lake's deadly shadow.

Present Day
On her 18th birthday, genetic information from Lee Parker's closed adoption is unlocked. She also sees an old photograph of a genetic relative - a 19th-century woman with hair and eyes likes hers - standing in a pile of rubble from an ecological disaster next to none other than Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. Determined to identify the woman in the photo and unearth the mystery of that captured moment, Lee digs into history. Her journey takes her from California to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, from her present financial woes to her past of privilege, from the daily grind to an epic disaster. Once Lee's heroic DNA is revealed, will she decide to forge a new fate?

©2016 Mary Hogan (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved this novel SO much!!!!

Wow!!! This one came out of left field!! I wasn't sure what to expect, but this was a terrific novel about a young woman whose ancestor was a (fictional) character in the very real history of the Johnstown flood. I absolutely loved it. The descriptions of the fashion and dresses, the character development, the impeccably (and emotionally) told account of the horrific flood, the famkly secret surrounding an adoption, the outrage over a collecti group of wealthy Pittsburgh tycoons -- all of it was so completely gripping.I could not stop listening and finished it in two days. This gal can write! I'm going to look up her other books now, but as a reader who didn't know much about the Johnstown flood, I found myself enamored with it. I was doing internet searches for Clara Barton and the Red Cross and looking up articles about the history of the flood. I couldn't get enough! I would love to see a whole series similar to this. Maybe the San Francisco earthquake? The Chicao Fire? The Lost Colony of Ronoake? I don't know, but I need more. Tavia Gilbert and Cassandra Campbell are two of my all time favorite narrators, and were a perfect choice for this already awesome book. I think this rises to my top spot for 2016. Absolutely recommend do any fan of historical fiction!!

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Too painful to listen to, don't waste your time

I am about half way through the book, but I have to return it. The narrator's voice is grating. The story isn't going anywhere. And, I am utterly bored. I look forward to listening to a new book.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Narration is dreadful

I found the review of the book to be interesting enough that I'll be cheeking the book out from the library. I am so glad not to have spent a credit on buying the book based on the first chapter of narration. The narration is shrill, whiny and hard on the ears, impossible to listen any further.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Thanks for the history lesson

Enjoyed the story very much as I was born in Johnstown but moved to NJ at age 12. Great story, performance fair but I struggled through and glad I did.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Narrator’s voice.

The only reason I didn’t give a higher rating for performance was because the narrator’s voice for the young Elizabeth Haberlin was really annoying. It got better though and I enjoyed the story.

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excellent

fictional story based on real life incidents. Gives real insight to what happened. Recommended for all

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The woman in the photo

This was a gripping story that was so enjoyable . It is quite thought provoking and a story that gives you insight into different time periods. I really recommend it

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Overall a good story.

A bit slow in the middle of the story. Overall a good story. I could relate to it because I am from Johnstown, Pa.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

vivid account of the Johnstown flood

First narrator, who portrays the historical Eizabeth, is hard to listen to, Almost made me want to stop, but it's worth persisting. She loses the annoying overdone voice late in the book.
Otherwise, good story, for fans of historical/contemporary fiction.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written. Very engrossing.

Lots of emotions and facts. I cannot wait to look up the event of Johnstown online.