Snapshots From Home
Published: July 2023
Sasha Wasley has already established herself as an author of contemporary fiction as well as books for children and young adults. She has now expanded that to include historical fiction. Drawing inspiration from a range of sources, including an episode of Antiques Roadshow, a writing residency at the historic Woodbridge House in Guilford, the digital newspaper archive, Trove, and Wasley’s own family history, Snapshots from Home invites readers into life on the home front during the First World War.
The story centres around Edie, who is grieving the loss of her brother when she accepts her first teaching position in the wheatbelt town of York, partly to escape the life her domineering father has mapped out for her. While there, she reluctantly becomes involved in the YMCA Snapshots from Home League, a program that matches volunteer photographers with soldiers requesting images of home. Through Edie, readers are introduced to a fascinating cast of characters, including her young student Kitty, who enthusiastically offers to be her photographic assistant. There’s also Kitty’s brother Teddy, whose anti-war and anti-conscription views cause a stir in the town. Teddy opens Edie’s eyes to the disproportionate impact conscription would have on the working class if the vote was to pass. But will his friendship help or hinder her struggle to find independence and her place in the world?
With the increasing popularity of books written against a backdrop of war, it is refreshing to read one set locally, in a town brought to life through both extensive research and creative reimagining. Perhaps you’ll even be enticed to take a road trip to discover York—and the traces of its past—for yourself.