Lisa T. Bergren's books and writing have always been satisfying reads. Grand Illusions is no exception.
Combine Bergren's writing, historical fiction, and the image of families making the illustrious and educational "Grand Tour" of Europe in the early 1900s and you undoubtedly have a winning story to share.
Cora Kensington's character was drawn from the poorest of Montana farm families to experience the Grand Tour with family members she has never met. People who are diametrically opposed to everything Cora has ever known. Yet, Cora knows exactly who she is meant to be, or so she believes.
Cora is torn between staying behind to manage what is left of the failing family farm as her father is ill and can no longer work the farm. Her parents are insistent upon her going as a certain stranger has appeared and offered the trip of a lifetime to Cora. What Cora uncovers is that this stranger is part of a secret from her past. An uncomfortable secret.
On the trip Cora encounters the best and the worst of family relationships. And she becomes enamored with a love she did not expect, while another waits in the shadows of her life feeling himself unfit and too poor compared to his competition.
As always, Bergren's plot, characters, and scenes are well crafted. A book easy to get caught up in, Glamorous Illusions lives up to the author's reputation and the book's title.
Recommendation: Lovers of historical fiction and the early 1900s, as well as Europe during that time period, will thoroughly enjoy Glamorous Illusions. There is really nothing more that needs to be said about this book.
This was a great story showing the contrast between Cora's down to earth life on the farm and the tour of Europe among high society. Lots of romance and adventure but more importantly the focus of seeking the Lord's will in all of life.
Cora Kensington is perfectly happy with her life. On a bankrupt farm in 1913 Montana, her mama and papa are struggling to eek out a life while Cora is away at college. Returning home for the summer, Cara has big dreams for her future. But she finds that her parents are barely making ends meet and have heavily borrowed so she can go to school. When a family member suddenly falls ill she has no choice, but to work sunup to sundown to keep the farm alive. Cora has no choice but to give up her dreams to be a teacher to take care of her family.
But in the story strongly reminiscent of Cinderella, a stranger arrives at their door with the news that Cora is not who she think she is. Pulled away into the fascinating world that is made of unfathomable riches, half siblings, and a father she didn't know she had, Cora faces the biggest challenge of her life. Who is she? Who is she meant to become? But more importantly - why?
Following Cora and her family as they are on a Grand Tour is exciting, and pumped my veins with adventure. I am such a homebody, but this novel inspired me to see the world for myself. Reading of Cora's struggle to fit in, to try to make the best of her circumstances is beyond commendable. She may be a fictional character, but Bergren has crafted a woman that will long remain in my memory. Truly a book that must be shared with the world.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.