Jan 13, 2011

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

All Amelia van den Broek wanted was to enjoy her one free summer in Baltimore with her cousin Zora. The summer of 1889 started out like it was going to be the best time of her life! Amelia was in society, attending balls, meeting hoards of eligible men & having fancy calling cards made to drop off when she went calling on her new friends. All of this was preparation for her to find a suitable man to marry. Too bad she fell in love instead.

Nathaniel Witherspoon was nothing like anyone Amelia had ever met. An artist, Nathaniel made his way in life however he could & did as he pleased. Inspired by that life, Amelia & Zora did the same. When they discover that Amelia has a talent for seeing other people's futures in the sunset, the girls decide to allow certain people the joy of discovering their futures. As the summer moves forward though, Amelia finds herself falling harder for Nathaniel & risking, not only her reputation, but her life. When Amelia begins to see that not all her fortunes are happy, she becomes frightened of her powers & what it could mean for all of them.

Fan-FREAKING-tastic is how I would describe this amazing novel! The action, the drama, the impropriety & the romance are all so breath-taking. I thoroughly enjoyed every part of this book.

The speech & mannerisms were dead-on for the time period & I was thrilled to have another paranormal/mystical historical fiction novel to devour. The Victorian-era rules of society are ones that have fascinated me for years & I found this book's presentation of those rules to be quite appropriate. I really felt like I was there & I was experiencing these admonitions & allowances with Amelia.

The characters were some of the most intriguing people I have encountered in such a novel. While the societal interactions had touches of the "country mouse visiting the city mouse" basics, I felt that there was still a deeper conflict between the characters. Standing & reputation meant a lot to these people & society during this time & so for Amelia to come in from the country & take up residence in their circles was just unheard of if she didn't use appropriate comportment. Zora was by far one of my favorite characters. Her vivacious nature & tenacity really lent a sporadic nature to the female characters.

Overall I must say that this is shaping up to be one of my favorite books of 2011. Be sure to keep your eyes out for this book & don't let it pass you by. There is enough intrigue, romance & history to please almost any reader!


Tara (The Bodacious Pen) said...

I really enjoyed The Vespertine as well. I loved Amelia & Zora's friendship!

Cheree said...

Thanks for the great review. I'll have to add this one to my to-read list.

Jo said...

Nice review! I'm looking forward to grabbing this one!

NatalieSap said...

You've sold me - definitely adding this to my pile o' books!