The Painter's Daughter: A Book Review - Reading List

The Painter's Daughter: A Book Review

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Painter's Daughter

Julie Klassen

It is easy to convince ourselves that the issues of the world today are new and that life used to be different, better.  The joy of historical fiction allows us to see that this is not actually the case.  Most of the issues of society have been there for decades, maybe even centuries, and yet people found ways to deal and move forward.

The topic of premarital relations comes up, again and again, it seems in our society.  Women who, in an effort to please the man they love, agree to move faster only to find themselves alone, heartbroken and months away from more responsibility than they bargained for.

To be honest, I have shied away from these historical fiction books for a while now, but after a recent novella collection, and numerous good reviews, I decided to go ahead and pick up this new book by Klassen.  I was quickly pulled in and stayed up way too late to finish it!

The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen  a Book Review on Reading List

Story Overview 

In The Painter's Daughter**, Sophie Dupont, a daughter of an artist, spent her life assisting her father and perfecting her art abilities.  When Wesley Overtree swept into her life she was sure he was just another artist.  Yet somehow he saw her differently and she was swept into the romantic world of Wesley.  She agreed to more than she should have and when he leaves for London for his art, she is heartbroken and desperate. 

Captain Stephan Overtree, while the second son of the family, is the hard working, responsible son who comes to bring Wesley home before he must return to the British Army to fight Napoleon.  When he discovered Sophie left behind in need of a man to step up, he does just that, even though they do not know each other, and she is in love with his brother. 

After a quick elopement, a quick stop at her family's home, the newly married couple make their way to Overtree Hall - Sophie's new home.  While Stephan and Sophie have agreed to a marriage in name, they also agree to play the role of husband and wife with the family. 

While it is trying, they make it through and Stephan returns to his regiment, but when Wesley comes home early, Sophie has to decide where her heart lies.

Personal Likes

This is a beautiful story - the setting is whimsical.  The characters, however, will pull you in.  Klassen tells the story through Sophie, Stephan and Wesley's eyes - while each chapter is spoken in the first person, the three different angels gives so much to the reader.

I also enjoyed the topic - a pregnant unmarried woman in this time, was extremely desperate, so I could see how she would quickly agree to Captian Overtree's offer of marriage.  Stephan is a very intriguing character - he has his personal insecurities while still being a strong military man.  Even Wesley is more complex than I originally thought.  Even the secondary characters kept me interested - Winnie (the old nanny), Kate and Keith each have very important roles in the story which add depth.

The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen  a Book Review on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

While there were a couple of surprises in this story, I was very sure where it was going from about the fifth page. I wish there would have been something more to it.  Although the final "action" scene felt forced, almost like an editor's attempt to add some drama to the story. This is a period Christian fiction, and it reads as one.  The characters make it worth reading.

Reasons to Read

This is a fun fiction piece that allows the reader a chance to escape and enjoy.  If you are looking for a story that will capture your imagination and give you a glimpse into history at the same time, this could be a great pick for you.   If you are into well developed and complex characters, this could be a great choice too. 

Reading List Rating

Four heart rating on Reading List

I'm giving this book a four heart rating because I really enjoyed it.  The characters make the story completely.  While I would recommend this one to a friend, I probably won't be reading it again. There is just not enough time and too many books- a one-time read-through book. 

My Suggested Audience

I would give this book to any woman who enjoys Christian historical romance.  It is a fun read, and very clean, so it could easily be a young adult book.  While I wouldn't say teens shouldn't read it, I am not sure the topic would interest them.  

This is real life... Happily ever after takes work. #ThePaintersDaughter @Reading_List1

What makes you truly interested in a character?  Do the characters even matter if the plot is well crafted?  What was last book you read that surprised you? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

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