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  • Location: London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Vietnam

Sweet Caress

Sweet Caress

Why a Booktrail?

20th C: See Europe of the 20th Century through one woman’s camera lens

  • ISBN: 978-1408867990
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

20th C: See Europe of the 20th Century through one woman’s camera lens

Amory Clay was born in the decade before the Great War and her father was so disappointed that he wasn’t the son he’d hoped for, that he gave her an androgynous name and announced the birth of a son anyway.

Amory was not a woman who would be defined then or later by anyone else. What she did become, thanks to the camera as well as the attention her Uncle Grenville gave her was a woman and a person in her own right. A photographer who would capture some of the most iconic moments in 20th C Europe

From the socialite world of London, through the demi-monde of 1920s Berlin, New York in the 1930s and more, she becomes one of the first female war photographers.

Travel Guide

This is the story of the 20th C as seen through the eyes of one woman. A woman who was not constrained by the rules of roles of society at the time and as a photographer, she had more chances than most to break free from the shackles of what being female entailed and could work and roam the world at will.

This gives her an independence that others don’t have. The author then constructed her story by researching the period and finding the photos of events she would have taken images of. Most of the pictures are from the author’s personal collection and from those he found during research.

Snapshots of her life:


They are born and grow up here at a house called Beckburrow near Claverleigh in East Sussex.

Scotland  – Barrandale Island – Barra Island, Drium Rigg Road – near isle of mull

Where she lives for a while and takes pictures of her surroundings in a small ramshackle house


Amory’ starts her long career in London with her uncle who turns out to be something she didn’t expect. She prefers to take the less arty shots which reveal the human soul but they are not what the public want it would seem so she heads to Berlin. There’s the Maroon Street Riots which take place there.


America – New York

It’s in America that she mets the French Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau

who worked at the French consulate there. She only gets the chance to meet him since he believes her to be a man due to her name. She also takes a trip to the west coast with someone…

Berlin and the Rhineland

“I began to feel I’d already moved on by coming to Berlin– the Amory Clay Society  Photographer era was over. I was changing”.

Life in Berlin proves to be a lot more colourful than she first thought. It’s here where she changes her look and meets Hanna.



Where her war career really comes into its own and the time here will change her dramatically.

Streetview Maps

England - London - Maroon Street
Germany -Berlin - Jagerstrasse
France - Paris - Rue Louis le Grand
USA - Washington Square South

Booktrailer Review

Clare: @thebooktrailer
This is a dramatic and really amazing story on so many levels. I had to check that Amory was not a real person as she seemed very real and with the photos used in the novel, grainy black and white shots, sepia shots, it was as if I was reading a diary of a woman who lived a remarkable life..

It’s a slow moving tale – from cradle to grave – and I’ve not read a novel like this in some time. It’s quite something to see Amory grow and change and to experience life in all the ways she does.

It really does read as a tour of Europe seen through the eyes of one remarkable young woman who is representative of so many like her. And that’s what makes it all the more remarkable to me. This is real but based on many Amory Clays and not just one. She may have had the luck that no other photographer had being at the most iconic moments of history but never does it read as coincidence – just a clever way of blending fact and fiction together.

As its separated into chapters which read like scenes or set pieces, the novel is a snapshot of her life though the lens and also revealed as the best photographers do, the life and soul of its subjects. The photos and snapshots of her life ar really revealing. Amory has taken life and shaken it up to how she wants it.

Amory never really reveals herself though and I did feel the war photography theme was stronger than the character of Amory herself. Seeing the 20th century through her eyes however was a fascinating way to discover certain events that are tucked away in history. Lonely moments as Amory never really reveals herself despite ensuring her photos do. She always remains quite cool and aloof.

The image and portrayal of a female war photographer however are quite something else as are the real photos in the book.

Booktrail Boarding Pass Information: Sweet Caress

Destination: London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Vietnam    Departure Time: 20th C

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