Review: The Last Photograph

The Last Photograph
The Last Photograph by Emma Chapman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this book as it just sounds so sad!

“He walks into the living room and June is dead.”

It has such a beautiful cover though that I decided to get started and see whether I can stomach the sadness. No regrets! I have truly enjoyed this story of healing.

Rook Henderson suddenly found himself un-tethered. His wife has died and he was lost. So he left everything behind and went to Vietnam. His first visit after his work as a photo journalist during the Vietnam War. His son, Ralph, followed him there and together, Rook delved into his past and finally found all he needed to heal.

Each chapter of The Last Photograph has 2 parts, present and past though there was more of the past. We followed Rook in reliving his experiences which led him to be who he is –a man who hid behind his camera. This mode of telling was a little confusing at first as the past / Rook’s secret history is revealed a little at a time and the reader needed a firm grip of Rook’s timeline. It’s heart breaking that it needed a sad event to force you to actually heal and that it took so long! However, Rook’s search for answers ends with a note of hope. I do wonder, though, about June. I would really like to know her perspective; how she hung in there for so long!

The Last Photograph is evocative and poignant. The contrast of the two worlds were staggering and photographically vivid. A novel well worth reading but make sure you have time for reflection.

Many thanks to Pan MacMillan Australia; I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

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