Review of "Rye in Focus" by Bob McGrath

Photographer Bob McGrath captures the everyday beauty of his hometown

It was a year-long quest  — from January through December Bob McGrath carried his camera hither and yon in his hometown of Rye with the intent of taking photographs that would capture the town's spirit. He succeeded.

In his recently released book "Rye in Focus: One Year, One Town," there are photos of a tree-lined street touched with a golden, snowy light; a lobsterman looking resolute as he stands on his boat; a clothesline filled with brightly colored laundry framing Star Island on a blue-sky day; a man named Mel and his dog Annie enjoying the shade of an oak tree — it's page after page of great photos, a nice mix of landscape and portrait, all documenting the everyday beauty of the Seacoast town.

There weren't enough pages in the book for all the photos. Those that were fitted into stray spaces, like the very last page (more than 20 of them crowded there), were just as worthy as any of full-page display.

In a foreword to the book, there is a quote by Louisa May Alcott that says: "The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely." This book is testimony to that.

McGrath says his quest ended "with a renewed admiration for the place I call home." It also will end with a lot of other people, like me, admiring it as well.



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