Dorothea Lange left the east coast with her camera at her side to head out for adventure, only to have disaster meet her when she arrived in San Francisco. Luckily, she encounters several people willing to help her navigate the new city and she develops a close friendship with Caroline Lee, a Chinese American aspiring fashion designer. Caroline introduces Dorothea to Monkey Block, the artists community in San Francisco, where Dorothea quickly feels at home. Dorothea also meets the dashing painter Maynard Dixon and is immediately drawn to him and his charismatic energy. When Dorothea finally opens her first portrait studio in San Francisco, she recruits Caroline to be her assistant. It is this relationship that is the primary focus of the novel. The Bohemians also sheds light on the suffering Chinese Americans endured during this time and puts a fictional face and name to the real life assistant of Ms. Lange.
I appreciated the author's detailed research and the way she developed the characters over the course of the story. I enjoyed this novel, but only wish it might have also covered more of Ms. Lange's life and career. I felt like it spurred my interest in her, but then left me wanting when the story ended. It was a good introduction to her early life and inspired me to delve into my own research into her career.
I received this book courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.