Monday, 22 February 2016

The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen

Back Cover: Sophie Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. In private, she paints the picturesque north Devon coast, popular with artists – including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in Sophie than the landscape.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking his brother Wesley’s responsibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and left his host’s daughter in serious trouble.

Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protective of the young lady, who somehow seems familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own past failings as well as his brother’s, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage “in name only” to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow.

 Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her first love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the captain and pray she doesn’t come to regret it?

Review: What a wonderful read. Julie Klassen has truly created a work of art within the pages of this book. Sophie, Wesley, and “Captain Black” absolutely came alive for me. The only negative thing I have to say about “The Painter’s Daughter” is that it had to end. Not a fan of that. I wish this story could have been stretched into at least three books (so yes, I really enjoyed it).

 The Painter’s Daughter is heavily character driven, and with such a great and interesting cast of characters that is a wonderful thing. I was intrigued by the mystery of Captain Black. As much as you could argue that the dark, brooding, burdened military man is a role that’s been played way too many times, I would argue back that it depends on how it is written. Yes, Captain Black is a little stereotypical, but it doesn’t feel that way when you are reading the story. I loved his sense of honor, the propriety, and the fierce protectiveness he shows towards Sophie. The fact that he’s a hurting soul just adds to the romance and the reader’s desire to see him succeed.

 Sophie is quite the girl, and definitely the centrepiece of this story. She is, in a word, real. She makes mistakes – some pretty big – and she does her best to live life the best she can with the piece that are left over. How many of us can relate to that? Life rarely is a bed of roses, and Sophie realizes that some of her decisions have destroyed the future she always thought she’d have. Instead of giving up to self pity or leaning on her father for help, she pulls herself together and makes some very courageous and honorable choices. I love how she turns wrong into right. I loved how this book took relatively normal circumstances and showed how much bravery is sometimes required to live an every-day life.

Wesley, of course, is the wild card. I won’t say too much about him other than the fact that whenever he shows up the page…so does a lot of drama. He is a large reason why this book was hard to put down because I kept worrying when he’d show up!

I really enjoyed this book. The story drew me in, the writing was well done, and I found the entire book held my attention very well.

" Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

1 comment:

  1. I've heard about this book. Good Review. I'll have to read it to my TBR pile. Thanks!