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Summary

Jerusalem, 1920: in an already fractured city, 11-year-old Prudence feels the tension rising as her architect father launches an ambitious and wildly eccentric plan to redesign the Holy City by importing English parks to the desert.

Prue, known as the 'little witness', eavesdrops underneath the tables of tearooms and behind the curtains of the dance halls of the city's elite, watching everything but rarely being watched herself. Around her, British colonials, exiled Armenians and German officials rub shoulders as they line up the pieces in a political game: a game destined to lead to disaster.

When Prue's father employs a British pilot, William Harrington, to take aerial photographs of the city, Prue is uncomfortably aware of the attraction that sparks between him and Eleanora, the English wife of a famous Jerusalem photographer. And after Harrington learns that Eleanora's husband is a nationalist intent on removing the British, those sparks are fanned dangerously into a flame.

Years later, in 1937, Prue is an artist living a reclusive life by the sea with her young son 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.

©2015 Suzanne Joinson (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

"A haunting, original and beautifully written tale." (Paul Torday, author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen)
"A delicate yet gutsy spirit of adventure pervades its pages.... Joinson writes with a control and vivacity that fires our own dreams of flight." (Emylia Hall, author of The Book of Summers)

What members say

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

confusing story with characters I didn't care for

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The story didn't go anywhere, and I'm rather cross that I simply didn't stop listening.
I found the way the story flipped between the two times a bit confusing, and I simply didn't Sam to any of the character in it.

I was hoping the history element would help, but it didn't.

Has The Photographer's Wife put you off other books in this genre?

No it hasn't, but I think I will read more reviews first. The only review on audible complained about the narrator, but actually she was fine. It was the content of the story that bored me.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

None.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

Any additional comments?

I've heard that this author is very good, so probably just a bad book but I certainly wasted my time listening to this.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

SPOILT BY NARRATION

The narration of this book is the most ridiculous I've heard. The narrator runs on sentences and speaks in a constantly modulating pitch that is so grating and makes so little sense that I can't bear to listen. I tried to stick with it but gave up after 12 chapters. And that was good going. I have very little idea of how good the book is because the narration is so distracting.

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  • SandyC
  • 22-02-18

What’s the point?

The story had such potential however the loose ends just stayed strayed and it was difficult to reconcile what the ending was. Why was this story told? What happened to everyone we met? If the end was better-the story would have been better. Why make us feel that utter tragedy so exquisitely only to have no outcome. It was strange. I’m not sure who the good guys were -or weren’t. Why did he give her the photos to hold on to? It just didn’t make sense. And what happened to her father? Anyway I enjoyed the story up til the end. Mostly because of the masterful narration by Joan Walker. She can read the phone book (do they still have those) and I would be enthralled!