During winter break I read The Woman in the Photograph by Dana Gynther and it was surprisingly really good. I haven’t read historical fiction in a while this was not what I would expect. I found this in the bargain section of barnes and noble a while ago, it was like seven or eight dollars.
It follows the story of our main female Lee Miller and her journey to become a famous photographer/model/ actress. She goes to Paris in the 1920’s, the prime of swing, jazz music and surrealist. While over there she’s very eager to meet the well known photographer Man Ray. They soon become a couple and dive into the artsy class of that time, going out to dinner every night, meeting a lot of people. It seemed like a good time, Lee got a job working for the vogue there in Paris. Her time was torn between her job and Man Ray, it’s basically like those friends who are in toxic relationships but you don’t want to say anything. This goes on for most of the book, Lee would get into an affair then Man Ray would find out, he would get all mad. Then they would make up and be fine for a little bit, it would go back and forth. It wasn’t until about three fourths of the way, she finally leaves him. From there everything else goes downhill but at the end we know that everyone is okay, they just changed.
Let’s start off with the one who I hated the most, Man Ray. This dude, I had to close the book so many times just to breathe through what he said about women or just anything in general. I got it though, in that time period men were literally like that all the damn time, it made sense. Even today we can still see this mindset which is really scary. Anytime he would use the pity card against Lee just to make her stay I got so mad because he knew it would work. The way they were together at the beginning but from the title I knew they wouldn’t stay together for long. Long though was the whole book but let’s be real I was hooked on it.
Now onto Lee Miller who was my queen the entire time, even though I knew nothing about her. Throughout the whole book we as readers learned a lot about her and why she thought the way she did. I loved how she wanted to be the best but also how she put other women up with her. She went outside of her comfort zone, she loved photography, and she loved herself. Lee had this 21st century vibe that I enjoyed reading, I related to her more than I liked to.
The book overall I give an eight out of ten, just because I thought she would leave Man Ray sooner. Some parts were boring but what are you going to do, it was when Lee was getting her life together, so it was alright. The imagery was phenomenal, one of the reasons why I love historical fiction. Lee was badass, she was smart, beautiful, and wise. This book was really good and I would recommend it to anyone, this book was a good trip.