It is 1937. Prue, an artist living a reclusive life by the sea, is visited by William Harrington, a British pilot she knew as a child in Jerusalem. Prue remembers an attraction between Harrington and Eleanora, the wife of a famous Jerusalem photographer, and the troubles that arose when Harrington learned Eleanora's husband was part of an underground group intent on removing the British.
During his visit, Harrington reveals the truth behind what happened all those years ago, a truth that unravels Prue's world. Now she must follow the threads that lead her back to secrets long-ago buried in Jerusalem.
The Photographer's Wife is a powerful story of betrayal: between father and daughter, between husband and wife, and between nations and people, set in the complex period between the two world wars.
Bestseller Joinson's second novel (after A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar) explores another distant locale, this time Jerusalem in the 1920s. The story is seen through the eyes of 11-year-old Prue Ashton, whose father is a British architect in the holy city to redesign it, and from the point of view of British pilot William Harrington, hired by Prue's father to assist Eleanora Rasul the photographer's wife of the title in getting aerial shots of the city. As in her first book, there are two main story lines here: Prue's life in Jerusalem in the 1920s on the one hand, which includes the provocative relationship between William and Eleanora, and on the other, the life the grown-up Prudence leads as an artist in Shoreham, a small British coastal town, in 1937. Readers see Prue both as an essentially abandoned young girl in Jerusalem, and the bold artist she becomes, fleeing her philandering husband in London and brazenly living with her lover and small son in Shoreham. Joinson's compelling prose reveals the horrors young Prue experiences while living in the unsettled Middle East, showing how it will haunt her as an adult when Harrington comes back into her life in Shoreham.