Julie Klassen never disappoints me. The stories she weaves pick me up and pluck me right into the time period. The Painter's Daughter is no exception. Since the main character is a painter herself, I expected the descriptive language and scenes to be written as though through a painter's eye. I could vividly imagine seeing what Sophie was seeing. I wanted to climb the hill to Castle Rock and look at the north Devon coast, as she did. I could imaging walking through the halls at Overtree. As always, Julie Klassen's descriptions of the time period and dress were accurate and immaculate.
The cast of characters in this book made the story far more interesting. Winnie, Colonel, Kate, and the Overtrees made for an intriguing diversion from the seriousness of the situations Sohpie and Stephen encountered. At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about Sophie Dupont. Her character seemed weak and a tad too gullible for my taste. Then, as I learned more about Wesley's character and her interaction with him, I could understand better how she found herself in such a precarious predicament. I envied her strength when she arrived at Overtree Hall, and her determination to do what was right, in the face of such strong temptation. As for Stephen Overtree, there were glimpses of "Captain Black" as Wesley was wont to call him, but I found him rather endearing. His strength of character and strong will showed me a great deal about him. I loved that they faced so many challenges at the beginning of the book. As Winnie states, they had already overcome so much to be together, their future looked bright.
One area I feel Julie Klassen excels in is weaving a strong message into the story. Asking God to help you is the first step in overcoming temptation and sin. That doesn't mean you won't face trials and even more temptation, it means that you have a never ending supply of help and comfort in your trials. As Wesley, Stephen, Captain Keith, and even Sophie learn, "all men struggle with some temptation or another, but God will help you."
Overall, Julie Klassen weaves a tail of overcoming temptation and trials with God's help. I give this book 4 stars.
Read an excerpt.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.*
About the Author: I worked in publishing for sixteen years (first in advertising, then as a fiction editor) and now write full time. The Secret of Pembrooke Park won the Minnesota Book Award. Three of my books, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and The Girl in the Gatehouse also won a Midwest Book Award and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America's RITA awards.
I graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.