Well friends it's been a very long-time-no-see since I've been posting here and I have been missing writing and doing book reviews a great deal! My stack of books for review is topping out at around 18-20 inches tall and growing more daunting every month that a new book arrives in my mailbox so with the beginning of a new year and, well, not a new me but hopefully a better organized me I hope to get back in the swing of posting here regularly- books and recipes and all sorts of the random thoughts that skitter through my brain! :)
The first book I will be reviewing this year is "The Painter's Daughter" by Julie Klassen. I have reviewed several of her books now and have enjoyed them all- I even have a few 'bought for later' titles on by bookshelf waiting for a quiet moment to pick up and enjoy!
In this book we hear the tale of Sophie Dupont who while she is a talented artist in her own right spends her days as her prominent father's assistant, hidden away in the shadows. It's no wonder then that when a dashing charismatic artist comes to study in her sleepy little seaside town that she falls for him quite completely- and then becomes a fallen woman as well. When Wesley runs out on her looking for the next great muse of his heart she has no idea where to turn or what she will do.
Enter Captain Stephen Overtree, sent on a mission to retrieve his older wayward brother and return him to his duties on the family estate. He finds Sophie instead of his brother and learning of the situation he has left her in makes a drastic proposal- a marriage proposal! With little hope of Wesley returning in time to save her from complete ruin she takes her chances with a man she doesn't know and prays all will turn out well!
There is nothing I love more than a good thick book with lots of well written details and phrases, and with plenty of twists and turns- and coming in at a robust 450 plus pages this book hits the criteria on both counts! After the initial introduction and set up of the plot things quickly deepen and expand and take the reader on a good journey along the way- and through a few hidden passageways as well! I really like both Sophie and Stephen and it was nice to see their relationship develop along the way and even deepen as they are separated as he returns to his military duties. Sophie is kind and gentle and is very content to come and live on the family's estate and find her niche there amongst the family while she anticipates the arrival of her child. Stephen is a scarred war hero who is trying to do his duty to the Lord he loves and the vocation he finds himself in. While he appears thunder and bluster on the outside he is a true and honest man, a devoted and loyal man inside. Together the make a great pair! Their road getting there is not as cut and dry as all that though and as they face bumps, detours, and their own personal demons they both must learn to lean on the Lord for their support.
My one little nit pick in this story is that I felt Sophie had the potential for more growth than she was given. I would have liked to see her not slide quite so easily or naturally into whatever role she was asked to play. At times she seemed too quiet and willing to go along with what anyone asked of her- which I suppose is how she got into the trouble she was in in the first place. It would have been nice to see her growing gradually into the resolve she exhibited in the final chapters.
Overall I really enjoyed this book! It was a very pleasant read over a few days, and late nights, and I was well satisfied with the ending and how all was put right. It's always encouraging to read how God can redeem even our greatest mistakes and regrets and brings us into pleasant places! And if anyone knows where to order me up a Captain Overtree hit the contact button and let me know, I think I have an opening! ;)
Final Rating: 4.5
I have been given a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and opinion of the product.