A Flickering Light, Portraits of the Heart Series #1
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A Flickering Light, Portraits of the Heart Series #1

WaterBrook / 2009 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW569809


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Product Description

Fifteen-year-old Jessie Ann Gaebele applies for a job with a photographer in 1907. Captivated by the art and an adept student, she soon begins running the studios of artists suffering from mercury poisoning. But is she preparing herself to own her own studio---or fleeing from her relationship with her older married tutor? 400 pages, softcover from Waterbrook.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: WaterBrook
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 157856980X
ISBN-13: 9781578569809
Series: Portraits of the Heart

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Publisher's Description

Returning to her Midwest roots, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick draws a page from her grandmother's photo album to capture the interplay between shadow and light, temptation and faith that marks a woman's pursuit of her dreams.

She took exquisite photographs,
but her heart was the true image exposed.

Fifteen-year-old Jessie Ann Gaebele loves nothing more than capturing a gorgeous Minnesota landscape when the sunlight casts its most mesmerizing shadows. So when F.J. Bauer hires her in 1907 to assist in his studio and darkroom, her dreams for a career in photography appear to find root in reality.

With the infamous hazards of the explosive powder used for lighting and the toxic darkroom chemicals, photography is considered a man' s profession. Yet Jessie shows remarkable talent in both the artistry and business of running a studio. She proves less skillful, however, at managing her growing attraction to the very married Mr. Bauer.

This luminous coming-of-age tale deftly exposes the intricate shadows that play across every dream worth pursuing–and the irresistible light that beckons the dreamer on.

Author Bio

Jane Kirkpatrick is a best-selling, award-winning author whose previous historical novels include All Together in One Place and Christy Award finalist A Tendering in the Storm. An international keynote speaker, she has earned regional and national recognition for her stories based on the lives of actual people, including the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Hall of Fame. Jane is a Wisconsin native who since 1974 has lived in Eastern Oregon, where she and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 rugged acres.

Discussion Questions

At prearranged times, the author makes herself available by speakerphone to answer questions and participate in book group gatherings. She’s done this from the Netherlands to Nebraska, from Florida to the Pacific Northwest. Arrangements can be made through her Web site at www.jkbooks.com. The use of this guide is not a prerequisite for such phone gatherings.

Publisher's Weekly

Historical novelist Kirkpatrick (A Tendering in the Storm) is exceptionally authentic in her use of early 20th-century history. Virtually all the characters are real figures; protagonist Jessie Ann Gaebele is inspired in this “biographical fiction” by the writer's own grandmother. Jessie Ann loves photography, and when she is hired as an assistant to photographer F.J. Bauer, she learns about the field of her dreams and also about herself, as she finds herself attracted to her married boss, who battles his own feelings in return. Kirkpatrick renders the war among desire, duty and restraint with exquisite nuance. There are no unsympathetic characters in this tangle of relationships. Bauer's wife—also named Jessie—may be difficult to live with, but she has her reasons. The period detail—dangerous chemicals used in photography, debilitating and frequent illnesses, the routine constraints on women's choices—offers a compelling portrait of the time. Kirkpatrick deserves a wide audience for this coming-of-age tale that is aching and hopeful. (Apr.)Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

STARRED PW REVIEW: A Flickering Light by Jane Kirkpatrick. 
Historical novelist Kirkpatrick (A Tendering in the Storm) is exceptionally authentic in her use of early 20th-century history. Virtually all the characters are real figures; protagonist Jessie Ann Gaebele is inspired in this "biographical fiction" by the writer's own grandmother. Jessie Ann loves photography, and when she is hired as an assistant to photographer F.J. Bauer, she learns about the field of her dreams and also about herself, as she finds herself attracted to her married boss, who battles his own feelings in return. Kirkpatrick renders the war among desire, duty and restraint with exquisite nuance. There are no unsympathetic characters in this tangle of relationships. Bauer's wife—also named Jessie—may be difficult to live with, but she has her reasons. The period detail—dangerous chemicals used in photography, debilitating and frequent illnesses, the routine constraints on women's choices—offers a compelling portrait of the time. Kirkpatrick deserves a wide audience for this coming-of-age tale that is aching and hopeful. Publisher’s Weekly Review

"Jane Kirkpatrick has done it again. A Flickering Light is as engaging, well researched and finely written as her other best selling historical novels. Her characters are real people with real temptations and at the end of the novel, this reader wants to know what happens next."
Lauraine Snelling, author of One Perfect Day and the Blessing books

"Jane Kirkpatrick's brilliance as a storyteller and her elegant artistry with the written word shine like a beacon in A Flickering Light. A master at weaving historical accounts with threads of story, Jane has that rare ability to take her reader on a journey through time. You nearly feel the ground move beneath your feet."
Susan Meissner, author of The Shape of Mercy


"Jane Kirkpatrick handles some very difficult issues and situations in A Flickering Light. Her attention to historical detail is greatly appreciated and defines her mark on this story. I will watch with great anticipation to see where this journey takes us as the series continues."
Tracie Peterson, best-selling author of the Alaskan Quest and Brides of Gallatin County series


"One of the marvels of this novel is Kirkpatrick's uncanny ability to enter into the minds and hearts of many characters and inhabit them with authority, generosity of spirit, and wisdom. You'll want to read slowly so you can savor each paragraph, each scene, each chapter."
K. L. Cook, author of The Girl from Charnelle, winner of the 2007 WILLA Award for Contemporary Fiction, and Last Call, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction.


"The dilemma of being an independent, artistic woman in a conservative, strict society is brought to light with great empathy by Ms. Kirkpatrick's compassionate recreation of Jessie Ann's life as one of the first female photographers. What Ms. Kirkpatrick accomplishes with absolute grace through memorable imagery is recognizing and honoring the eternal plight of all soul-seeking women through the story of one young girl who was determined to follow her creative passion."
Laurie Wagner Buyer, author of Spring's Edge: A Ranch Wife's Chronicles

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 7
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  1. Moonpie
    PRYOR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A UNIQUE AND ENTERTAINING HISTORICAL NOVEL!
    November 17, 2014
    Moonpie
    PRYOR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I am consistently amazed at Ms. Kirkpatricks historical fiction books. They not only bring to light the person they are written about but many social and cultural differences in that time period.

    I had never even considered all photography in the early 20th century involved until I read this book. Jessie Gaebele was a bit of a modern woman in the sense that she wanted more than anything to pursue a career in photography. Women just didnt do that; they werent supposed to have careers at all! Even though she still lived at home under the watchful eye of her parents, she managed to follow her dream. I believe her confidence and poise came from her all-consuming love of taking pictures.

    In that era it was a bit more than just grabbing a Polaroid or digital camera. I had never considered how dangerous it was until I read about Jessie. The chemicals used to process the pictures were toxic not only to touch but the fumes were poisonous too. Photographers often suffered from chemical poisoning that made them very ill and ultimately dementia and organ failure. In addition to the chemicals there was the danger of explosions and fires from the flash powders that could kill or maim. Given how protected women were during this time, you can understand how bold Jessies pursuit was! This doesnt even take into account that she was only 15 years old at the time!

    Her opportunity came when she is hired as an assistant to Mr. Bauer of Bauer Studios. She would gain experience and knowledge to hopefully someday open or studio. Although she was young she proved herself a quick learner, talented and responsible. I learned right along with Jessie as she apprenticed. I never thought of how the only lighting they hand was natural light from windows, or how skilled one would have to be to pose subjects considering this.

    Her new job brought her face to face with something she had never dreamed of; she became emotionally attracted to her employer. Matters were further complicated because he was not only married (albeit very unhappily to a petty nervous wife in fragile health) but he was also 26 years older than Jesse! Before long Mr. Bauer returned that attraction. This was not a sordid tale as one might think. It is a beautiful story of having self-control in the face of strong, sinful temptations and staying true to God rather than giving into fleshly desires. Her close familys intuition and Gods convicting hand kept Jessie from straying. The author was very tasteful in handling this.

    The book is made even more exciting because it is based on the life of Jane Kirkpatricks grandmother who was a photographer during that time and even owned her own studio! The vintage pictures placed at the beginning of various chapters were so special. They were actually taken by the authors grandmother! I always look forward to Jane Kirkpatricks books. They are in a league of their own!

    Be sure to go to http://www.jkbooks.com/ and check out more of Jane Kirkpatricks wonderful books! I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

  2. Moonpie
    PRYOR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A UNIQUE AND ENTERTAINING HISTORICAL NOVEL!
    November 17, 2014
    Moonpie
    PRYOR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I am consistently amazed at Ms. Kirkpatricks historical fiction books. They not only bring to light the person they are written about but many social and cultural differences in that time period.

    I had never even considered all photography in the early 20th century involved until I read this book. Jessie Gaebele was a bit of a modern woman in the sense that she wanted more than anything to pursue a career in photography. Women just didnt do that; they werent supposed to have careers at all! Even though she still lived at home under the watchful eye of her parents, she managed to follow her dream. I believe her confidence and poise came from her all-consuming love of taking pictures.

    In that era it was a bit more than just grabbing a Polaroid or digital camera. I had never considered how dangerous it was until I read about Jessie. The chemicals used to process the pictures were toxic not only to touch but the fumes were poisonous too. Photographers often suffered from chemical poisoning that made them very ill and ultimately dementia and organ failure. In addition to the chemicals there was the danger of explosions and fires from the flash powders that could kill or maim. Given how protected women were during this time, you can understand how bold Jessies pursuit was! This doesnt even take into account that she was only 15 years old at the time!

    Her opportunity came when she is hired as an assistant to Mr. Bauer of Bauer Studios. She would gain experience and knowledge to hopefully someday open or studio. Although she was young she proved herself a quick learner, talented and responsible. I learned right along with Jessie as she apprenticed. I never thought of how the only lighting they hand was natural light from windows, or how skilled one would have to be to pose subjects considering this.

    Her new job brought her face to face with something she had never dreamed of; she became emotionally attracted to her employer. Matters were further complicated because he was not only married (albeit very unhappily to a petty nervous wife in fragile health) but he was also 26 years older than Jesse! Before long Mr. Bauer returned that attraction. This was not a sordid tale as one might think. It is a beautiful story of having self-control in the face of strong, sinful temptations and staying true to God rather than giving into fleshly desires. Her close familys intuition and Gods convicting hand kept Jessie from straying. The author was very tasteful in handling this.

    The book is made even more exciting because it is based on the life of Jane Kirkpatricks grandmother who was a photographer during that time and even owned her own studio! The vintage pictures placed at the beginning of various chapters were so special. They were actually taken by the authors grandmother! I always look forward to Jane Kirkpatricks books. They are in a league of their own!

    Be sure to go to http://www.jkbooks.com/ and check out more of Jane Kirkpatricks wonderful books! I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

  3. debwilson
    Summerfield, FL
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    December 21, 2013
    debwilson
    Summerfield, FL
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Jessie Gaebele is an amateur photographer in 1907, Minnesota. She loves nothing more than to take pictures of the beautiful landscape and the people she loves. When she is hired at the Bauer Studio to assist in developing photos and learning how to run the business, she knows she is headed in the right direction for her life and career.

    There are hazards that come with the territory; the explosive powder used for lighting, and the toxic chemicals used for developing the prints. It is considered a man's profession, and life-threatening when the mercury poisoning hits. Yet Jessie works deftly and skillfully at every aspect of running a studio. What she can't seem to manage, however, is her attraction to the married F.J. Bauer. Will photography reveal the person she really is, or will it expose her for what she can never be?

    I had mixed emotions about this book as I knew before I even opened the book that there was the undercurrents of a possible emotional affair between an older married man and a young woman. But despite all of that, I was pleasantly surprised with what I discovered. The author portrayed a perfect mix between the human fallacies we all are born with, and the power of forgiveness from not only those we love, but God himself.
  4. debwilson
    Summerfield, FL
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    November 27, 2012
    debwilson
    Summerfield, FL
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Jessie Gaebele is an amateur photographer in 1907, Minnesota. She loves nothing more than to take pictures of the beautiful landscape and the people she loves. When she is hired at the Bauer Studio to assist in developing photos and learning how to run the business, she knows she is headed in the right direction for her life and career.

    There are hazards that come with the territory; the explosive powder used for lighting, and the toxic chemicals used for developing the prints. It is considered a man's profession, and life-threatening when the mercury poisoning hits. Yet Jessie works deftly and skillfully at every aspect of running a studio. What she can't seem to manage, however, is her attraction to the married F.J. Bauer. Will photography reveal the person she really is, or will it expose her for what she can never be?

    I had mixed emotions about this book as I knew before I even opened the book that there was the undercurrents of a possible emotional affair between an older married man and a young woman. But despite all of that, I was pleasantly surprised with what I discovered. The author portrayed a perfect mix between the human fallacies we all are born with, and the power of forgiveness from not only those we love, but God himself.
  5. Megan
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    February 24, 2010
    Megan
    The historical detail in this novel was interesting and educating. Kirkpatrick deals with subjects such as the beginning stages of photography with its related illnesses and women's roles during that era. We see motor cars and horse drawn carriages, and there is a scene including President Taft.I found the main plot line a little slow moving and was more engaged in the side stories involving both the Gaebeles with little Roy, and the Bauers with their past and present trials. The secondary characters were well developed and added depth to layers of the story. I appreciated Jessie's transformation and growth in her faith although it felt a little fast at the end of the book. Kirkpatrick creates believable characters in illuminating settings. Readers learn about history and human nature as well as the beauty of grace and second chances.I am glad that there will be a follow up book, An Absence So Great due out later this year. There were a couple of unanswered questions and unresolved problems, especially in the engaging side stories that I hope to see addressed!
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