The Photographer of the Lost, Caroline Scott: Book Review

A historical fiction based around World War One which you do not want to miss – meet Caroline Scott’s The Photographer of the Lost.

The plot:

1921. The Great War is over and families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He was declared ‘missing, believed killed’ during the war, but when Edie received a mysterious photograph in the post, taken by Francis, hope flares. And so she begins to search.

Francis’s brother, Harry, is also searching. Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, he has returned to the Western Front. As Harry travels through battle-scarred France, gathering news for British wives and mothers, he longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last conversation they ever had.

And as Harry and Edie’s path converge, they begin to get closer to a startling truth.

It’s a five-star read for me, and an important book for all

This book grips you from the first page and won’t let you go – even when you’ve finished it, the story will stay with you. I really didn’t want to put it down, and although it’s quite a lengthy book, the chapters are relatively short, so you get through it quickly.

It jumps between during the war and then to 1921, as well as alternating chapters between Harry and Edie. I really enjoyed this layout as we were following both on their journeys, and sometimes they would connect, but ultimately, they were running parallel looking for the same but different thing.

This story about loss is heartbreaking. It shows many different perspectives, from close relatives, to families you know nothing about, and individual soldiers themselves. It’s strips away the violence (although there are some paragraphs you may grit your teeth at) and tells a somewhat beautiful but harrowing story.

You’re in for a real treat with Scott’s writing. She’s taken a tough topic and elegantly painted a fictional story, but also acting as a reminder that this happened, and the after-effects of World War One.

Locations are written as if Scott has travelled to each and every place and paints you a word picture as she has seen. It’s a five-star read for me, and an important book for all.

A reminder of those that were lost, but also those that were found again.

The Photographer of the Lost, Caroline Scott, RRP £12.99 (hardback); Book Depository 

Pages: 492

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genre: Historical Fiction

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