it's the summer of 1913, and Cora Diehl has just returned back to her family's farm in rural Montana on leave from teaching school. Life on the farm has taken a tragic turn as she finds the crops failing, plagued by debt, plus Cora's father suffers a stroke and needs more care than they can afford to provide. All seems hopeless, until one afternoon a stranger comes to call, none other than wealthy copper-king Wallace Kensington. Within a few minutes of his surprising visit, Cora finds she has a new father, a new name, new siblings, new wealth that she has never known for years that will radically change her future! Wallace is very stubborn and gives Cora no ultimatum but to be thrown into this new life of pleasure, and abandonment. He starts by forcefully inviting her on The Grand Tour of Europe, that is supposed to open this country girl's eyes to what true art, sophistication, ancient history and refinement truly mean. As she struggles to stay strong and keep faith in the Lord, her only true friend on the journey is the Tutor, William, he understands suffering and pain, the two find solace and an unexpected forbidden love awaits. (Cora has more than one!).
Having personally just gone through a recent grief, this first novel was like a dip in a river of cool water! I discovered more of myself in Cora like never before, and the message of God is ever present, ever alive no matter how hard life is, God is there, He's always been and He will continue forever more! The pages sparkle with life from beginning to the last with an unexpected twist of suspense and intrigue that will leave you breathless! I anxiously await #2!
*This book was given to me by the Publisher for my unbiased, non-profit, independent review*
I'll admit that when I picked up this book I was thinking it would not be that good or could even could compare to The River of Time Series (which I loved!), but I have to say this book went beyond my expectations! I LOVED IT!!! I checked it out from the library, but I definitely plan to buy myself a copy to have on my own bookshelf!
Personally, I think this book is a lot better then The River of Time Series simply because Cora makes so much mention to her relationship with God! I really liked that! She admits her struggles with her siblings, but longs to be the woman God created her to be and earnestly prays about it! I felt Cora was very realistic and thought it was intriguing that she had two men that had strong feelings for her (I'm not sure who I want her to be with!) as well as having feelings for them! I also felt this book had a lot of depth that makes the reader reflect on who they are and any struggles they are having about who they are! I am greatly looking forward to the next book in this series because I know it will enrapture me as well as make me think about my own life!
Lisa's story had an off-kilter start for me. Her writing is beautiful, fluid, and sensory. I just didn't agree with any choice any character made. Perhaps that's why the theme and people didn't "settle" with me. I'm curious what will happen to Cora, her half-sbilings, "parents", and Mr. K, but not sure I'll like their futures and can't imagine a pleasant ending for them as a whole.
I really loved this book and I can't wait for the next one. Cora struggles with her faith as she discovers that she's the illegitimate daughter of a copper baron. In order to help her mother and adoptive father, Cora sets off on a journey to Europe with her three biological siblings that she's just met. Cora questions who she is and what she wants from her life as she feels attracted to one of their tour guides and a Frenchman they meet in Paris. I look forward to the next book, I've enjoyed every book I've read by Lisa T. Bergren.