Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday Reads: The Vespertine

Here's a historical fantasy that I loved (few and far between-- my favorite historical fantasy of all time is the Gemma Doyle Trilogy). The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell.

It's the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.
When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia's world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she's not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

First Line: "I woke in Oakhaven, entirely ruined." Ruined how? you ask. Well, that's the point right? To get you asking questions. And, as the page prior has informed you of the location and date (1889) you can probably guess what kind of ruined a girl can be. And the beauty of you knowing everything? You're wrong.

Beefs: Hot and mysterious as Nathaniel was, I wanted to know more about him. But he is a complete sigh fest nonetheless; hot and mysterious and completely in love with Amelia.

Brownie Points: The historical is done so well. Historical facts (fashions especially) are introduced in such a way that readers knowing nothing about this time period are immediately thrust into it with a great understanding of what is going on.

Recommendation: Even if you don't normally dive into historical novel, I highly recommend you read this one. And if you are sad the Gemma Doyle series ended and are looking for a good historical fantasy, check this one out.

Would I represent it? I would love to find a historical fantasy to represent. It's a hard genre, but so worth it.

Happy reading!


Sarah said...

I do love the Gemma Doyle books. Might have to check this one out!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the rec - I'm in the "don't normally read historical" category, but this one sounds cool, will check it out.

Kristine Asselin said...

The cover alone would make me pick up the book. I do love historical fiction, but haven't read much of it lately...

Heather said...

I loved this book so much! It is easily one of the best novels I've read in a long time. I loved the beauty of her writing and how she captured the time frame.

Julie said...

Mmmmm... I heart historical fiction! Have you read the Luxe series by Anna Godbersen? Loved those ones!

Stephsco said...

I really enjoyed this one, too. Highlights were historical detail with setting and clothing descriptions. I loved how calling card culture translated so easily to our current social media. I also appreciated Amelia's friendship with her cousin; I sighed w/ relief that they weren't instantly rivals. I love good girl friendships!