Book Review – The Last Photograph

by Emma Chapman (Picador) ISBN: 9781509816545

Emma Chapman’s second novel, The Last Photograph, tells the backstory of Rook Henderson – an award winning photographer who carries Vietnam and the agony of all that life behind the lens with him. Always.

Now he has to add dealing with his wife June’s death to his burden. His son, Ralph looks to him for comfort and attention.

Beautifully written, there are nuggets on almost every page, like – “In the darkness, it is easier to be thrown back into the past”, and “There was the smell too, of things growing.” However, I had almost no connection with any of the characters. The plot, which was told in reverse, was quite ordinary and unsurprising.

Although I appreciated the gorgeous prose, and the detailed research and insight into Rook’s life, it was a let-down in terms of enjoyment and satisfaction. Beautiful – yes. Evocative – certainly. Memorable – not.

Bev Bouwer

Posted on: 26th September 2016