Prior to the American Civil War, photography and embalming the dead were newly invented arts and sciences.
On the autism spectrum, Osborn Roche is a well-respected battlefield and postmortem photographer during the civil war. He and his nephew Ray travel with the Union army photographing battlefields and creating portraits for the soldiers. When Osborn meets Lou, a young woman dressed as a man to work as an embalmer for the Union, He soon sees that she is also on the autism spectrum, and they quickly become friends. Lou works with her father, Henry. Common for the time, Henry believes his daughter should never marry or have children due to her condition. When their friendship blossoms into courtship, Lou’s father threatens to take her away. Osborn and Lou must travel west to seek a place where they should never be found in this quirky, funny, and sometimes dark, civil war era romance.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 16 members
First of all, I have not realised that this book is the second one of the series until I have finished. Yet it it was easy to read as stand alone piece. Secondly, I loved the topic and the chosen era... It's not only interesting story. It is the peculiar story. That would probably describe it best. Well done researched American history and history of photography - something as photographer myself I could relate. Through light humour one of the highlights is the mental health. Avoiding any spoilers it could make, I will leave it up to readers to find out. It's not your usual story with predictable ending. The only little downside that I have spotted is mixed American/British slang, some words questionably fitting into the time/era described. It is not majorly distracting but something that could be improved on. All in all, great read.
‘Collodion’ has it all and Greg Morgan develops this storyline much in the same way as Osborn Roche, the Civil War and post mortem photographer tells a story through his pictures. Osborn is well respected and autistic. When he meets Lou, (an autistic woman dressed as a man) working as a Union army embalmer, he notices her eyes similar in beauty and shade to his mothers and they become friends. Lou is the daughter of Henry Cantrell, the embalmer of Abraham Lincoln and his young son Willy. Henry is opposed to the growing friendship of his daughter and Osborn, believing his daughter should not fall in love, marry or bear children due to her autism. Lou is taken away by her father and Osborn is alone and shattered without her. Fate is found to be a friend. Osborn Roche has become a famous photographer and has published a book about the Battle of Corinth. At a book signing, he is reunited with Lou who is attending with her uncle. Osborn learns that Lou’s father is planning to have her sterilized. With no other option, Osborn and Lou run away, marry and are once again be the focus of Henry Cantrell’s threats, thwarts and challenges. This is a page turning read with an intriguing plot that twists, turns and surprises. Thank you NetGalley and Greg Morgan for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review.
I chose the book Collodion because I was intrigued by the premise. Lou and Osborn were written well as were the rest of the characters. It's clear that a lot of research went into writing them and about the Civil War time period. I had never realized that several different photographers and embalmer followed the different troops around to different battles. Learning how involved and precise these arts were was fascinating. I'd also never heard of a"weeper", as a lifelong profession, before. There's just so much history to glean from this book!
I had never heard of this author before, but the description of the book sounded really intriguing and I wanted to give it a try. It was a really good historical fiction taking place during the civil war. It brings up the subject of autism, which is not talked about enough in literature. I really enjoyed this book.