by Marisa Silver

Reviewer Rating:


Dorothea Lange’s Depression-Era photograph, Migrant Mother, has become an American icon.  This image is the inspiration for Marisa Silver’s newest novel, Mary Coin.  Her characters are based on the real-life subject and photographer, and a modern-day historian.  We see how their lives contrast and how they are connected.  All three story lines depict the struggles and joys of parenthood. 
Marisa Silver’s writing is thoughtful and compassionate without being sentimental.  Although this is a fictionalized account, Silver uncovers some truths through her storytelling.  A photograph can freeze a moment in time, but it cannot begin to tell the story leading up to it and the events to follow.  Just as the author cropped and colorized the photo for the book cover, she frames the lives of her characters to give a fresh look at this timeless image and what it has come to represent.

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