Monday, June 23, 2014

Eight Girls Taking Pictures by Whitney Otto (audio)

"Later, Jenny would say she seldom knew what she would take a picture of when she picked up a camera, that she only knew once she peered through the viewfinder, as if the photograph had finally found her."

This book was not at all what I was expected.  I guess I thought it would be a novel - but it was actually eight short stories about eight different girls who were photographers in the late 1900's to 1980's.  The research was excellent (from what I could tell) and the writing rather good in some parts, but I guess this book just wasn't for me.

My main issue with the book was that all of the eight characters seemed exactly the same.  One of the stories might have been a great stand alone short-story, but after reading a few, I couldn't really tell one apart from another.  They all seemed like the same person, but in a different time period and slightly (and I mean slightly...) different circumstances.  Many this was the author intention?  Either way, it got annoying after awhile.  It also was way to feminist for me.  All of the girls had major conflict between their photography careers and their family/love interest.  Being set in the time period that it was, I understand there was a real battle here (you couldn't usually be a famous photographer and a wife/mother at the same time), but I felt like each character made the same choice.  It was annoying.  The books only saving grace was the reference to different characters through out the stories - espeically at the end reference to Cymbeline (the first women's story).  I felt like this book could have been great, but it just wasn't.

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