Feb 242016

The Painter's DaughterMy New Favorite from Julie Klassen!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy form Publisher

In her latest Inspirational Regency romance, Julie Klassen brings readers to Devonshire, England in the year 1815 where we find an artist’s daughter, Sophie Dupont, who fell in love with a visiting artist but now finds herself abandoned and in a bit of a delicate predicament. Like Marianne Dashwood, Sophie believed herself loved, and though the words were “never absolutely” spoken, she expected that her lover would declare himself and marry her. Sadly for Sophie, this didn’t happen. Instead the man who stole her heart, Wesley Overtree, jumped at a fortuitous opportunity to travel to Italy and paint. In a mad rush to be off, Wesley didn’t say good-bye in person, he just left a brief note with no declarations or promises.

On a mission to find his older brother, Captain Stephen Overtree travels to Lynmouth in hopes of convincing Wesley to come home and help their ailing father by assuming his estate responsibilities. However, he doesn’t find Wesley, he instead finds Sophie and is quick to guess her relationship with his brother and the situation she now finds herself in. As readers will soon find out, Stephen Overtree is a most honorable and responsible man. He feels it is his duty to help Sophie out. There isn’t time to travel to Italy and bring Wesley back, so Stephen does the only thing he can think of and offers marriage and the protection of his name to Sophie himself.

Oh my…this story gripped me from the very first page and many times I found myself unable to summon the willpower to put it down! I found myself completely enamored with Sophie, Stephen, and the impossibly tangled situation they found themselves in. Sophie has just bound herself to a virtual stranger to save her reputation – a man who has a brusque and militant persona and whom she suspects to be harsh and violent. Stephen is in the awkward of position of having a wife who is in love with his brother not him, yet his own heart can’t help but feel some affection for her. Add to that, this couple must play the part of happy newlyweds in front of their relations who cannot help but feel a bit suspicious about such an impetuous marriage…

Do you see what I mean? This premise and situation is delicate, risky, and fraught with complications. I think what I loved most about The Painter’s Daughter – aside from the engaging characters – was witnessing how this abruptly decided marriage “in name only” would play out . Would Sophie ever have a change of heart? How will Wesley react when he learns about his brother’s marriage? Will anyone discover the whole truth about Sophie and Wesley? The anticipation was delicious, the tension was palpable, and the emotional turbulence was rendered with beautiful poignancy. My heart went out to Sophie, our plain and modest heroine, who like Jane Eyre, was often overlooked, unused to being admired, and often not treated as an equal. I can understand her falling in love with the first person to notice her. And poor Stephen claimed my heart as well. He lives in the shadow of his favored older brother, feels ashamed of his unsightly scar, and believes in a prediction that he may not live to see his thirtieth birthday.

Aside from a compelling plot and admirable characters, Julie Klassen infuses her story with lovely touches of romance, intrigue, history, and faith. And as always, the balance she strikes between all these components feels just right. In addition, I greatly enjoyed the attention paid to secondary characters in this tale and I was so happy to spot some Jane Austen quotes cleverly woven in various parts of the text. It may surprise no one to hear me say that I deeply loved this arrestingly beautiful new Inspirational Regency romance from Julie Klassen and it has definitely become my new favorite!

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  28 Responses to “The Painter’s Daughter – Julie Klassen”


    This sounds like a wonderful book, and the cover is just lovely!


    Considering how much I enjoy Julie Klassen in the first place, I think this HAS to be added to the list. Thanks for your review Meredith!!


    I have been wanting to read a Julie Klassen book and with such a glowing review, this may now be the first one! Thank you for such a great review and high endorsement Meredith!


    From this review I will love this story. Thanks for sharing it!


    Hi Meredith!
    Thanks for this insightful review, it gives me a general view about the story and it´s really thrilling!. Here we have again the love triangles but I suspect Stephen will win at last Sophie´s heart!. How couldn´t he get it?, and his brother, Wesley (with “W” of Willoughby and Wickham…), I hope he fails as an artist in Italy LOL!. It must have been fun finding Jane Austen´s quotes. And, of course, as it happens with all Julie Klassen´s novels, this cover is beautiful! 🙂


      Thanks for reading my review, Teresa! I tried hard not to give any spoilers, but it was a bit challenging because I wanted to go on and on about what I loved! Great point about Welsey and the letter “w.” LOL! You will be amused I think to learn what becomes of his Italy adventure!


    Sounds very interesting. I know I should read all her books but have only read one or two. Time is the issue. Your review renders it another one to place on the towering pile. Thank you.


    *Sighs* Julie Klassen is a wonderful author! Wish I could read one of her books every month! I am so eager to get to this one! In the meantime, I plan on reading The Dancing Master in March. 🙂


    Great review Meredith as usual. I love Julie Klassen’s books. In fact I always have them on pre-order. This was a lovely story. I was rooting for Stephen all the way. I actually didn’t like Wesley at all. If you haven’t read any of her other ones Meredith, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is a great read as is The Tutor’s Daughter.


      Thanks, Teresa! I love her too, Teresa! Will read anything she writes! Oh yes, Stephen captured my heart and I was not at all attracted to Wesley. I have read most of her books (love The Tutor’s Daughter) the only ones I haven’t read are Lady of Milkweed Manor and The Girl at the Gatehouse.


    I love Julie Klassen’s books! The Apothecary’s Daughter was the first one I read, and it drew me in to the others. Love the idea of a ‘Daughters’ series and this sounds like a wonderful addition to it. Thanks for the great review!


    Glad you loved it. I couldn’t put this one down, either. 😉 Sophie and Stephen were a unique couple and I loved getting their story.


    Hi Meredith. I’m glad to see you enjoyed this book. I was lucky enough to have the chance to do a bit of early reading of this book and I’d like to read the published version to see what things have changed. I enjoyed the story very much, I thought it was really atmospheric, I felt bad for Sophie for the situation that she was in, and even worse for Stephen! I’ve only read a few Julie Klassen books but I have quite a few more on my kindle, hopefully I’ll have chance to read at least one more this year.


      I saw that! What a cool gig! 😉 Great word choice – atmospheric! It was easy to feel sympathy for these characters and the challenging predicament they found themselves in. I look forward to seeing what you think of Julie Klassen’s other works!


    Gosh this book sounds good, I’ve added it to my wishlist 🙂


    received this as a Christmas gift, having never read any of Ms. Klassan’s other books, I thoroughly enjoyed it and have added her other works to my TBR list


    This was a 4 for me. There were times that I was really mad at Sophie. She seemed undecided at certain circumstances – and it was understandable at her situation – but as a reader I wanted her to be firm. The second half of the book was really good though 🙂


      I can understand that. I felt that way about the heroine in The Apothecary’s Daughter. Glad you liked it more in the second half! She definitely redeemed herself there! 😀

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