Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Painter's Daughter - Julie Klassen

If you like historical fiction with some Christian romance you really need to be reading Julie Klassen and her new book The Painter's Daughter is a great place to delve in and fall in love with her work for yourself.

The Painter's Daughter follows the story of Sophie Dumont, daughter of a reasonably well-known artist with undiscovered talent of her own. Following a whirlwind romance with the charming but immature Wesley Overtree, Sophie finds her future a frightening mixture of unknowns until Wesley's younger brother Stephen steps in and offers her a way out, but is Stephen's rescue more favourable than Wesley's abandonment?

I've sat and pondered just what it is about Klassen's work that keeps drawing me in.

At first I wondered if it was the length of the book. 
Klassen's work often feels more substantial than some of her contemporaries and doesn't hold the same loose ends feel that many authors in this genre seem to favour. 
I really appreciate how plotlines weren't just discarded for convenience or page number. From Sophie all the way down to Winnie each character got their own moment to shine. This really allows the characters to grow into themselves.
Obviously, Sophie and the Overtree's were natural characters to grow but I was pleasantly surprised to see the care given to Winne, Ms. Blake, and Mr. Keith as well. It's become a personal pet peeve in novels of late to see characters short changed in the name of space and I love that Klassen bucks this perceived trend.

I also find myself drawn in through Klassen's creation of atmosphere within her novels. There is something in the way Klassen crafts her settings and character that make it far easier to become absorbed into the story than to tear yourself away and The Painter's Daughter is no exception. The characters stayed with me long after the book was finished and the landscapes of Overtree Hall and Castle Rock were vivid enough to spring to life in my head.

The plot itself did fall on some familiar stories: the honourbound solider, the rascal brother, the ex, the wise woman, intrigue, etc . . . but Klassen fully commits and breathes life into her novel making it a worthwhile and satisfying read.

Highly recommend this book and there's still time to get this one under the tree for the reader in your life!

5 out of 5 stars!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Nuts About Books  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.