En route to a photographic exhibit in Paris and a trip on around the world, Edith and Daisy (the narrator) arrive in San Francisco just before the great earthquake of 1906 and are separated from Edith's father in the ensuing confusion. While they search for him in the crowds and rubble during the next several clays, Edith surreptitiously takes 60 photographs (an act forbidden by authorities hoping to conceal the extent of the damage). Unable to reach City Hail, where they had hoped to find him, the girls join others camping in Golden Gate Park, sharing the deprivations and horrors amid aftershocks, explosions, and fires, and eventually return home: their ship has sunk in the harbor. Three photos and a brief note in a 1990 National Geographic sparked the research that led to Gregory's third historical novel. Daisy (15) is fictional, but Edith is based on Edith Irvine, who did record the earthquake's devastation. Touching and exciting, this close-up has immediacy and an authentic voice that bring history vividly to life. A map would have been useful. Preface; afterword; bibliography; b&w photos not seen.