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Reader Reviewed
The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan

The Girl in the Photograph

Family Drama   Historical Fiction   Literary Fiction   Reading Groups   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

The suppression of women dominates this dual-time tale. Alice, a disgraced pregnant girl, is sent to the country by her mother in 1933. Fascinated by the history of the house she hides in she feels the presence of unhappy spirits. Spirits that date back to 50 years before when Elizabeth, suffering from post-natal depression was confined to an asylum for months. She subsequently loses her next three pregnancies, all longed-for boys. Back in the 1930s Alice meets the present owner’s son, a relationship blossoms and opening up to each other we discover he has tragedy in his past too. This is a novel which will stay with you long after you’ve finished it and lifelong fans of Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca are likely to adore it. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Kate Riordan you might also like to read books by Katherine Webb, Kate Morton and Santa Montefiore.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read the full reviews here.

  • Edel Waugh - 'This book does not give up its secrets easily and if you liked the Daphne Du Maurier book Rebecca then you should check this out.'
  • Kathryn Whitfield - 'Fantastic book, beautifully written, I was transported back in time and didn't want to leave.'
  • Sarah Jones - 'Right from the start there is a powerful sense of unease that permeates through the story and the two time lines that entwine...I read most of this book in one sitting.'
  • Judith Waring - 'A very atmospheric book, the author’s writing is very descriptive, clean and concise and the plot immediately wraps itself insidiously around you and draws you in.'
  • Janet Gilliard - 'I really enjoyed this novel and read it over a weekend, and did not want the book to end.'
  • Katie Hoare - 'If you loved Rebecca Du Maurier’s Rebecca you will love this enchanting and captivating story.'
  • Jennifer Rainbow - 'This mesmerising story draws you in. The scenes are so vivid that you feel like you're witnessing them and that you are being told secrets that will haunt you even after you've turned the final page.'
  • Helen - 'Overall I did enjoy this novel.  The description of the house and the valley was very vivid and there was a definite sense of foreboding throughout the book.'
  • Helen Clark - 'An evocative and intriguing story full of ephemeral beings floating between the 1890s and the 1930s.  The link is eerie and the two are connected through the centuries.'
  • Janet Monks - 'A gothic styled novel featuring two women divided by time, but whose lives are inextricably linked to each other by two summers in 1932 and 1898...There is romance, history and sadness in this novel, something to really curl up with in early 2015.'
  • Nikki Whitmore - 'A slow burner...It wasn't what I expected but I was pleasantly surprised by what I read.'
  • Kate Thacker - 'It sucked me in from the mysterious first page until I had to find out the ending for both these two woman.'
  • Evelyn Love-Gajardo - 'A great read for anyone who likes books which build slowly and create an eerie atmosphere...I enjoyed the book very much.'
  • Suzanne Bellingham - 'hints of mystery, romance and just a dash of the Gothic, a page turner until the very end with an eerie conclusion that is both beautiful and haunting.'
  • Celia Cohen - 'A haunting book that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it...Definitely a must-read.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'This is an extremely well written, credible and absorbing story...A haunting tragedy that is totally fantastic.'
  • Pam Kennedy - 'I loved this book, it gripped me from the first page to the last...Kate Riordan has got another fan in me, I hope she writes another book soon.'
  • Linda Hill -'The Girl in the Photograph is a wonderful story to immerse yourself in and while away a cold winter's afternoon...Kate Riordan's writing is skillful and evocative.'
  • Tracey Poulter - 'The book is beautifully written and keeps the reader engaged until the end. I feel sure that fans of Daphne du Maurier would enjoy this book.'

Win an advanced copy of Fern Britton's new novel!

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To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 12 February 2018. The winners will be notified by 19 February 2018,

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Enter prize draw Draw closes: 12/02/2018


The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan

The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan is a beautiful dark and beguiling novel that will sweep you away.

'I could never have imagined all that would happen in those few short months and how, by the end of them, my life would have altered irrevocably and for ever.' It's the summer of 1933 and Alice Eveleigh has arrived at Fiercombe Manor in disgrace. Hiding her shame in this isolated house concealed within a Gloucestershire valley in the care of housekeeper, Mrs Jelphs, Alice soon begins to sense that something isn't quite right within the walls of this beautiful manor - for one thing she is being watched...There are secrets at Fiercombe that those who remain there are determined to keep. Tragedy haunts the empty rooms and foreboding hangs heavy in the stifling heat. Traces of the previous occupant, Elizabeth Stanton, are everywhere, and Alice discovers Elizabeth's life eerily mirrors the path she herself is on. The past is set to repeat its sorrows, and with devastating consequences.


'Rich and atmospheric, like Rebecca this novel casts an enduring spell' Rachel Hore, Sunday Times bestselling author

About the Author

Kate Riordan

Kate Riordan is a writer and journalist. She started out as an editorial assistant at the Guardian, followed by a stint as deputy editor for the lifestyle section of Time Out. She now works freelance and lives in the Cotswolds, where she is currently working on her next novel.

Author photo © Philippa Gedge

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Book Info

Publication date

15th January 2015


Kate Riordan

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Penguin Books Ltd


448 pages


Family Drama
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Reading Groups

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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