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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
I was attracted by the colorful cover and, for a moment, I thought this was a children’s book on photography, but I was so wrong. I am happy I picked up Taking Pictures by Rachael Sircar, a book that explores the beauty of working with children with special needs and the light of faith. Alyssa Heartland loves her job, teaching children with special needs, but then one child will rock her world and make her doubt if she chose the right vocation. The situation becomes more complicated with the presence of the boy’s difficult father. But as she explores her depths, she makes a startling discovery — she has a rare and hidden gift. She can dream of memories captured in a picture, including those of people in the picture, when she places the picture under her pillow. Follow her as she explores her path and connects with her gift, and discovers where it leads her.
This book is a gift of faith, a story that shows a woman’s faith in humanity, and how working with those in need helps her to connect with what is most beautiful in herself. Rachael Sircar writes with unusual grace and simplicity and her prose captures the soul of her characters and the atmosphere of the novel in a vivid and arresting manner. The protagonist as well as the supporting characters are well-explored. I particularly liked the humanity of Alyssa and the internal conflict in her life, and how her character deepens with each episode as she makes new discoveries of herself. The author writes a book with a moving message on the liberating power of service, but readers also encounter characters that are real and situations that are trying. The narrative voice is strong and sweet, and the overall writing features good balance and deft prose. Taking Pictures transports you right into the heart of the characters.