Monday, November 30, 2015
The Painter's Daughter
As a devoted Julie Klassen fan, I must say this newest novel did not disappoint!
This book has everything I've come to love about Klassen's books in particular, and in Regency fiction in general. A complicated love story, a swoon-worthy leading man, a fascinating cultural and geographical backdrop, and some good old-fashioned suspense. While it lacks some of the gothic mystery often found in Kalssen's earlier works, the old house in which the Overtree's live provides several fun plot twists.
I particularly liked the complexities of many of the characters. Wesley, while inconstant and irresponsible, is a redeemable and believable antagonist. Sophie's perceived lack of physical beauty and talent leads her to fall victim to such a charming young man, and accurately shows the ethical dangers many young women face. Stephen Overtree-- the scarred, yet dashing Captain Wentworth-esq romantic lead-- exudes just the right amount of masculinity and tenderness.
As usual, Klassen pays homage to the great Jane Austen, with references to several young characters reading Sense and Sensibility, and a wonderful allusion to Pride and Prejudice's Lady Catherine de Bourgh, "If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient."
Austen and Klassen fans rejoice, this is another hit!