Learning to See
Book Review - Learning to See by Elise Hooper
When the publicist first reached out to me about Learning to See by Elise Hooper, I was barely able to finish reading the email before emailing back with a resounding YES! Above all other genres, historical fiction about strong, creative women is my favorite. I will drop everything else on my schedule in order to fit in a book about a real woman, especially one that has been overlooked throughout history. So if Learning to See by Elise Hooper wasn’t already on your radar, buy it now.
You may be familiar with the photograph known as Migrant Mother (see above) - but could you name the photographer? Her name is Dorothea Lange and she has a truly fascinating story. Dorothea was born in New Jersey, but at 22 years old she and a friend moved to San Francisco with plans to explore the world. Things didn’t go according to plan, but Dorothea wasn’t discouraged - she set up roots in San Francisco and within no time had a thriving portrait studio. Then the great depression hit and Dorothea’s photography took a turn that would make her infamous.
I adored Elise Hooper’s writing - it sounded as if Dorothea were writing her own memoir. It was written from Dorothea’s perspective as if she were reminiscing with an old friend. There was a little dialog but not nearly as much as you’d see in a contemporary novel. I loved hearing about how Dorothea and her photography evolved over time: shifting from a business woman to an artist. The book also explored her personal relationships with her husband(s) and her sons. Really, Elise Hooper did a great job with this book. She has another book out, The Other Alcott, which received excellent reviews. So I’m somehow going to have to fit that book into my schedule - I want to read more from Elise Hooper!
My husband and I took these pictures at Tower Grove Park in St. Louis. I hadn’t really had much time to explor Tower Grove Park in the past - I visited only to attend the Sauce Food Truck Friday that occurs monthly during the summer months. But the park is so much more than that - I discovered the ten historic pavilions. The most iconic pavailion is probably the Turkish Pavilion, but I took these photos at the West Pool Pavilion, where the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market takes place.