Friday, 29 June 2018

The Photograph by Debbie Rix

About the book… 
If you loved The Letter by Kathryn Hughes and The Hourglass by Tracy Rees you’ll be swept away by this stunning summer read.

Italy, 1958: Rachael is a young widow with a small child. After a lifetime of running for survival, of not knowing who to trust and where to call home, she finds herself in a place of safety. On a sun-drenched Italian island for one carefree summer the troubles of her past fade away and she falls in love. But will Rachael’s new-found happiness bring her further heartache?

England, 2017: Sophie has a handsome husband, a gorgeous house in the English countryside and a successful career as an anthropologist. But the one thing she longs for is a baby of her own. As she struggles to conceive, cracks begin to appear in her marriage. So Sophie throws herself into her work and tries to seek comfort in childhood memories of her beloved grandmother Rachael.

One afternoon, Sophie finds a forgotten letter and an exquisite silk bracelet hidden in Rachael’s old writing desk. Intrigued, she begins to unravel the extraordinary story of her grandmother’s past - and a secret that has the power to change everything…

The Photograph is an utterly beautiful and compelling story of love, loss and a family secret spanning generations.

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About the author… 

Debbie Rix has written four novels, the latest of which - 'The Photograph' - will be published on June 27th 2018. The story crosses generations and continents as Sophie, desperate for a child of her own, uncovers the extraordinary secrets of her grandmother, Rachael, fifty years earlier.

Earlier this year Debbie was shortlisted for the RNA's Historical Novel category for her third novel 'The Silk Weaver's Wife' (pub: 19th July 2017) about a silk designer named Anastasia from Verona whose life is almost destroyed when she is forced into a marriage to a Venetian silk weaver. In the present day Millie visits an old villa near Verona and uncovers a lost painting. Who is the woman in the painting and how will her experiences affect Millie's life?

Debbie's debut 'The Girl with Emerald Eyes', reached the No.1 spot in Amazon's Italian category. Set amidst the world of medieval Italy, it explores the creation of the most famous building in the world - the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Her second novel - 'Daughters of the Silk Road' topped the historical fiction charts, reaching No.1 in Italian, Women's fiction and Mystery, Thriller & Suspense and spent many weeks in the top 100 best selling lists. It follows the fortunes of a family of merchant explorers who bring a Ming vase back to Venice from China in 15th century.

Debbie spends a lot of time in Italy and the setting of the novels reflects her knowledge and passion for the country. She lives in the Kent countryside with her journalist husband, children, sheep, chickens and cats. When not writing, she is usually to be found in the vegetable garden. She began her career with the BBC- initially as the news reader on Breakfast Time, thereafter appearing as a presenter and reporter on a variety of factual and light entertainment television series. She had a spell as an Agony Aunt, and has also written about gardens and gardening - one of her private passions.

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book by Bookouture, Debbie Six publishers in exchange for an honest review.  This is something I'm more than willing to do.

The story is told by two different women Sophie and Racheal across several different countries. The chapters act as dividers separating the women's lives alternating back and forth between Italy 1958 and the UK 2017.

It is a heartfelt story about tragedy, love, pain, family and friendship.  A story set in four parts with the two stories woven together until they meet in the present day.

I absolutely loved this story, it is an incredibly powerful yet a tender and tragic story that highlights the decisions and difficulties faced by both Sophie and Rachael, two incredibly strong women and the knocks and set backs they both faced in their lives.

The Photograph is a story that is paced perfectly, the pace ebbing and flowing as both women encounter setbacks and tragedy time and time again only to rise out the other side stronger more determined to survive.  I was totally absorbed, silent tears rolling down my cheeks, smiling the next - a totally uplifting read that demonstrates the strength of character possible when you are surrounded by love and support, family and friendship.

An uplifting read that is totally captivating and will squeeze your heart yet leave you uplifted.  This is the first Debbie Rix book I have read but it will definitely not be the last, I loved every single word from the beginning to the end.  

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