Photographic by K. D. Lovgren is the story of Jane, a former makeup person, now the wife of Ian Reilly, a method actor who has climbed to the A-List. Now that Ian is a top star, they two lead separate lives, with him away filming, and her left on their isolated Midwestern farm with their daughter, Tam.
The gap of separation, though, becomes a gulf when Jane finds herself in the sights of Marta, an aggressive papparazi, and Ian, on a secluded island filming Odysseus for a demanding director, becomes involved in on-set activity so outrageous it shakes even hedonistic Hollywood.
Both Jane and Ian must discover who they are, as individuals and as a family, if they are to survive.
A compelling read that you won’t want to put down. I found much about this book commendable, from a ‘knock your socks off’ front cover that with simple imagery foretells what you’ll find in the book, to a cast of characters (major and minor) who, though flawed, with few exceptions elicit a bit of sympathy. The one exception to flawed characters is the daughter, Tam. Six going on twenty-one, she comes across as a real six year-old, and a handful at that.
That said, there are a few things, mostly stylistic, that keep Photographic from the highest praise. First, the use of character names. Useful as it is to help readers know who is talking, etc., I found it overused in many instances. For example, in chapter 1, in a scene involving only Jane and Tam, Tam’s name is mentioned 10 times in the first three paragraphs, and Jane’s eight times in four. This was the worst example, but I found it throughout the book. Two minor—really minor, but the author is better than that—spelling errors. Papparazi is spelled papparaza early in the book, and the word pablum is spelled pabulum. Beezer, an on-set still photographer who figures significantly in events casting deep shadows over Jane and Ian, is in and out, doing his dastardly deeds, and then, near the end of the book, he simply drops out of sight. We hear no more of or from him.
The ending was hopeful, without being sugary, which was probably about right for this story. All in all, a compelling story about the lives of famous people in the age of tell-it-all tabloids. Because of the aforementioned stylistic issues, I give it four stars.