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Sweet Caress
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Sweet Caress, by William Boyd

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Estelle (estelles) Sweet Caress

I read this for #27-A book with a beautiful title

Given the title you might think this is a romance novel. However, it is more historical fiction, written as a memoir.

Armory Clay is a fictional woman professional photographer in the tumultuous 20th century. Born in 1908, coming of age in the 1920s, living through the depression, WWII, and Vietnam, photographing the times. From her retirement she looks back over her life, interweaving personal events with her documentation of world events.

Boyd enjoys blurring the lines of the real and fiction. The pages are sprinkled with real photos from the collection of the author, but which illustrate the story, giving faces to characters and character to events. Even the epigraph is attributed to a fictional character:

"However long your stay on this small planet lasts, and whatever happens during it, the most important thing is that - from time to time - you feel life's sweet caress."

I enjoyed reading this book. Amory was, in many ways, an average person - not particularly famous in her profession, but quite competent. She experienced life's ups and downs, but felt some sweet caresses, too.


Valerie | 357 comments A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you: Sweet Caress

When Amory Clay was born, in the decade before the Great War, her disappointed father gave her an androgynous name and announced the birth of a son. But this daughter was not one to let others define her; Amory became a woman who accepted no limits to what that could mean, and, from the time she picked up her first camera, one who would record her own version of events.

Having read a bit about this book, I will enjoy seeing how Boyd manages to put real photos into a book of historical fiction and attribute them to a fictional character. As Estelle has said in the previous post, he is apparently blurring fiction and reality.

I am a minor photographer...just learning really. So I will enjoy learning about this, as well.


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