A Flickering Light (2009)
An Absence So Great (2010)



Based on the author’s grandmother’s life as a turn of the century photographer in Winona, Minnesota.  This coming of age series of two books captures the interplay between temptation and faith that marks a woman’s pursuit of her dreams.  Actual historical photos from the collection of Jessie Ann Gaebele are included. A Flickering Light, Book one, was named to Library Journal’s Best Books of 2009 and was a Christy finalist, 2010.


A Flickering Light

Returning to her Midwest roots, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick draws a page from her grandmother’s photo album capturing the interplay between temptation and faith that marks a woman’s pursuit of her dreams. (2009)


An Absense So Great

Did photography replace an absence in her life or expose the truth of her heart’s emptiness? Even a job she loves can’t keep painful memories from seeping into her heart when the shadows of a forbidden love threaten to darken the portrait of her life. (2010)


Northwest Passages Interview

Northwest Passages: Jane Kirkpatrick
AIR DATE: Thursday, July 2nd 2009

Click here to listen.

Praise for Jane Kirkpatrick's Portrait of the Heart Series

“Jessie Ann Gaebele loves photography, and when she is hired as an assistant to photographer F.J. Bauer, she learns about the field of her dreams and also about herself, as she finds herself attracted to her married boss, who battles his own feelings in return. Kirkpatrick renders the war among desire, duty and restraint with exquisite nuance. There are no unsympathetic characters in this tangle of relationships. Bauer's wife—also named Jessie—may be difficult to live with, but she has her reasons. The period detail—dangerous chemicals used in photography, debilitating and frequent illnesses, the routine constraints on women's choices—offers a compelling portrait of the time. Kirkpatrick deserves a wide audience for this coming-of-age tale that is aching and hopeful.” (Apr.)  Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review. First in a two book Portrait of the Heart Collection.  Named to Library Journals Best Books of 2009.

"Jane Kirkpatrick’s brilliance as a storyteller and her elegant artistry with the written word shine like a beacon in A Flickering Light. A master at weaving historical accounts with threads of story, Jane has that rare ability to take her reader on a journey through time. You nearly feel the ground move beneath your feet." — Susan Meissner, author of The Shape of Mercy

“Life is really made of:  the settings, props, and poses we encounter, then put aside so we can cherish family and faith,” writes Jane Kirkpatrick in An Absence So Great.  Jane embraces the finest qualities of the human spirit in all her writing, including this absorbing story of an early 20th century photographer, based on the life of her own grandmother. In An Absence So Great, Jane’s readers—and I am one of her most faithful of them—will be swept up in Jessie Gaebele’s struggle for independence against a backdrop of prejudice and forbidden love, beautifully written by one of America’s favorite storytellers.
—    Sandra Dallas, author of Prayers for Sale

stars toppickThe characters have many layers for the reader to peel away as they learn their strengths and weaknesses. The author truly makes the characters come alive.
-- Patsy Glans RT BOOK REVIEWS


Writer's Recollections

This series was based on my grandmother's life and I knew there was a bit of secret involved, perhaps a tinge of scandal. So I worried about how to write about it. I didn't want to tell the story as a voyeur but rather to show how a strong woman can sometimes choose unwisely...

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together  No Eye



Video- (Book Trailer) An Absence So Great



A Flickering Light (winner, 2010)
An Absence So Great (finalist, 2011)

A Flickering Light - one of the "Best Books of 2009"

2010 Christy Award Finalist -
A Flickering Light