Thursday, August 15, 2013

Depression Era Mystery

Mary Coin
By Marisa Silver

The picture is one that many Americans recognize; an image of a migrant mother during the depression pondering the next move to keep her family alive or simply resting for a moment from the labors of the day. Author Marisa Silver weaves a dramatic enactment of what may have been the relationship between Florence Owens Thompson the woman in the picture and the photographer Dorothea Lange who with one click of her camera fashions the icon of the Depression. Fictionalized characters Mary Coin, migrant mother, Vera Dare, professional photographer, and Walker Dodge, history teacher, alternate telling this tale that weaves the elusive dance between the connections that make up their lives. The reader moves subtly into an engrossing mystery in which the characters illustrate what it takes to keep moving amid staggering obstacles, how to hone a craft which may result in creating the symbol of a point in time, and how finding a link in a family tree can lead to acceptance of the past and renewed hope the future. The author’s writing is replete with beautiful imagery and a tonal resonance that builds tension and relieves; builds and relieves as the story unfolds and moves a satisfying conclusion. 

Do pick up this one! 

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Review by Karen J. Harris, Norcross Branch 

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