Book and Movie Reviews
Papa's Portrait: An 1820 Stephenson House Short Story
by DL Andersen
A short story inspired by the historical Stephenson House. Andersen does well in creating life within the brick walls. It did transport me to that time. But the 'voice' used in the narration threw me off. It would have worked better, that voice, if it had been 'I remember the day I was...'. Because the voice was a mature voice, and not the six year old it pretended to be. Many times it felt like a historical political science mini lesson, cramming as much historical fact into it, as it could. Give Andersen all due, she researched her subject. It was okay, but I didn't see it snagging in any reader not already interested in Stephenson House.
The story was short, but it was the rest of the book that had me firmly hooked. It must be the bubbling historian in me.
In the rest of the book were the author notes, the historical legacy's, the research, the facts. They should have been dry, dusty papers in a tattered folder, but they came alive. They looped back into the little story, they breathed life into fiction. A strange turnaround.
At first, I'd thought the short story, Papa's Portrait, unnecessary. But as you continue, the background presented brought that little story to a high shine.
If you like history, if you like the era, if you like facts, if you like living history, this is a good place to start.
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