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Learning to See by Elise Hooper

Learning to See by Elise Hooper

I don’t know about you guys, but I am SUPER excited for the @saltwaterreads chat this Sunday, to discuss the incredible Learning to See by @elisehooper - I’ve finished it now and just did NOT want it to end! This is the curse of a good book - wanting to see what happens whilst simultaneously not wanting to reach the end of the book. 😂💜

If this isn't one of the best books I've read this year, I don't know what is. Elise Hooper has written a MAGNIFICENT fictional take on the very real life of Dorothea Lange, and my only wish is that this book could go on forever.

This is exactly what you want in a read - a strong, amazing female lead, who is a trailblazer of her time; a heartbreaking set of circumstance; and love stories that are as honest and messy as life itself. I flew through this book in one afternoon, Dorothea's story was too compelling to put down.

I cannot recommend this book enough to other readers, the research that Elise put in to capture Dorothea's work in that period, as well as paralleling her life milestones as they passed is remarkable. I couldn't help but immediately set this down and pick up my phone so I could google Dorothea and learn so much more about her, her work and that particularly dark period of history.

This is a wildly compelling read that is almost impossible to sum up in a few words. So let's leave it as - please buy or borrow this book and jump head first into Dorothea's story yourself. It is completely worth the ride.

QOTD: Do you ever find yourself wishing a story wasn’t over yet? I am perpetually wishing for sequels to books I love. The greatest win in the world is when I find a series to become addicted to. 😏

Happy almost-Friday friends! 💜


At a time when women were supposed to keep the home fires burning, Dorothea Lange, creator of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century, dares to be different. Now, in this riveting new novel by the author of The Other Alcott, we see the world through her eyes…

In 1918, a fearless twenty-two-year old arrives in bohemian San Francisco from the Northeast, determined to make her own way as an independent woman. Renaming herself Dorothea Lange she is soon the celebrated owner of the city’s most prestigious and stylish portrait studio and wife of the talented but volatile painter, Maynard Dixon.

By the early 1930s, as America’s economy collapses, her marriage founders and Dorothea must find ways to support her two young sons single-handedly. Determined to expose the horrific conditions of the nation’s poor, she takes to the road with her camera, creating images that inspire, reform, and define the era. And when the United States enters World War II, Dorothea chooses to confront another injustice—the incarceration of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans.

Learning to See is a gripping account of the ambitious woman behind the camera who risked everything for art, activism, and love. But her choices came at a steep price…

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