by Virginia Ellis

June 2003
ISBN: 0-345-44484-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books

The innocence of youth is hard to shake, even if there is a war looming in the horizon. Maddy is busy being the average teenager, her biggest worries in life are dances, boys, and her impending freedom. And then Pearl Harbor is bombed and her world changes. Her brother and her boyfriend decide around her 17th birthday to enlist in the Marines and Navy. With war, comes change, both in the world and in people. As events unfold, Maddy must make some difficult choices and forms a bond with Ruth, her sister-in-law that canít be unbroken.

Ruth is recovering from the loss of her second baby due to miscarriage, when the war calls her husband David away from her. She and Maddy are able to move to Florida to spend a few weeks with him and his friends before he is shipped out. Many changes begin to take place and she forms an attachment to a photograph taken of all of them before the men left.

Though, the main characters in the book are Ruth and Maddy, you will enjoy the secondary characters and their stories as well. There are some wonderful moments in the Siler household, the family the two women board with. The Siler family has a son involved in the war, as well. Their original plan was to board the men fighting for the country and their son, Jack, approached them about letting Ruth and Maddy stay instead. Reluctantly, they agree and soon they have gained an extension to their family in their feelings for these two women.

The Photograph was a great book, sure to wind up on many keeper shelves. As the book begins, you donít even realize how absorbed you are, until you try to put it down. An avid reader of romances, this doesnít happen often for me especially when there is no real edge of the seat suspense involved. This story is sweet and charming and just draws you in. The characters are all well written and you feel like you really know them. You will be sad to see the book end because you have to part with your new found friends.

Reviewed in August 2003 by Katy.

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