In Glamorous Illusions, Lisa T. Bergren sweeps the reader away on a journey that begins on a struggling farm, to the copper mines of Montana; to the gorgeous cathedrals, chateaus, and palaces of the very wealthy in England and Paris. Our heroine, Cora Diehl, has come home to her farm in Montana to visit her parents after attending college, only to have her father suffer a stroke and is now unable to work the farm. Then a stranger arrives on her doorstep with a shocking secret and a proposition...one that she realizes she cannot refuse.
Cora finds herself on a fabulous journey of self discovery and adventure with her siblings--siblings she never even knew existed, in a world quite different than her own. With much trepidation and anticipation, Cora joins them on The Grand Tour of Europe led by tour guides, Will McCabe and his uncle. Suddenly thrust into a world of masked balls, gorgeous gowns, art museums, and magnificent palaces, Cora begins to question who she is and where she really belongs. And two very different men are falling for her; one an extremely wealthy, French Prince Charming, and her tour guide, Will. Where does Cora's path to self discovery lead her, and will she ever feel comfortable in this opulent lifestyle, and with her haughty siblings? Is she a Kensington or a Diehl?
Lisa T. Bergren takes us on a wonderful journey of places most of us only dream of visiting! Her use of imagery, and firsthand knowledge of Europe will fascinate and draw the reader in with a novel that is nigh unto impossible to put down. I loved the unpredictability and excitement of this book-one never knows what is going to happen next, not even which honorable character our heroine is going to end up with. With a wonderful cliff-hanger of a conclusion (to be continued in next book of series) and a spiritual thread throughout...this is an absolute must read! Nicely done, Lisa Bergren!
Cora Diehl is returning to Dunnigan, Montana, near Glacier National Park, after completing her first year of training to be a teacher. Her father suffers a stroke and the family is about to lose their farm, when a wealthy visitor appears on their doorstep with news that will change Cora's life.
Apparently, she is not Cora Diehl, daughter of an impoverished farmer, after all. She is Cora Kensington, daughter of an ex-senator and Montana copper-mining baron. A man who now wants an opportunity to develop a relationship with his illegitimate daughter, to introduce her to her half-siblings, and to send her on the Grand Tour of Europe under the supervision of Sir Stuart McCabe and his nephew, William McCabe.
Cora has been raised with a strong Christian faith, and this comes through constantly in her speech and thoughts. Travelling in England and Europe challenges Cora to consider and confirm her beliefs and priorities as she consorts with the rich and titled. It also provides the promise of romance and the beginnings of suspense that will no doubt be continued in the rest of the trilogy. The final two books, Grave Consequences and Glittering Promises, will be released in 2013.
I recently reviewed Leaving Lancaster, and commented that I found the changing points of view distracting. Glamorous Illusions is another book that is written with first person chapters (from Cora's point of view) alternating with chapters in the third person. Unlike Leaving Lancaster, each chapter is headed with the name of the point of view character, each has a distinctly different voice, and neither voice reads like that of a petulant teenager. I'm still not convinced of the technique of alternating between the first person and the third person point of view. But, in Glamorous Illusions, Lisa T Bergren proves that it can work in the hands of a competent writer.
Glamorous Illusions is well researched, but with a touch of modern sensibilities (e.g. the ongoing debate about whether treasures such as the Egyptian obelisks should be returned). There were a few annoying unanswered questions and one repeated plot point that I'm not convinced is historically accurate (and has the potential to derail the plot if it actually becomes important). This appears to be one of those trilogies that is the ongoing story of one main character, rather than three entirely separate stories about three related characters. For this reason, some readers may well prefer to wait until the final book is released before reading.
Thanks to David C Cook and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
I stumbled upon Glamorous Illusions while looking for a new book to read. It was my first book by Lisa T. Bergren, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When the end came, I wasn't ready for it to be over. There was travel, mystery, romance, and fun. Bergen woven elements of faith well that make you consider how much you really trust God and know yourself. The characters were well developed and the plot was well thought out. I can't wait to read books two and three when they come out!
Cora Diehl's life is turned upside down when she learns she is the illegitimate daughter of Wallace Kensington a Montana copper king. She is forced to come to terms with the knowledge of her biological parents' sin and the secret her loved ones kept from her all her life. She has to discover how to love the siblings who scorn her, while she is thrown into a trip around Europe with them.
This first book in the Grand Tour series takes you on an adventure from the farms of Montana through England and France. Along the way Cora discovers that the most valuable journey is within. In the pages of this book there are lessons of forgiveness, trust, finding self-worth and reliance on God.
As I read this book I was pleased to once again find my self taken back in time. Lisa has a wonderful way of bringing cultures and foreign places to life right before your eyes. Each book I've read of hers leaves me wanting more! The characters become like family or friends and you don't want to say goodbye at the end.
This story is set in 1913 and follows the main character, Cora Kensington, as her life is turned upside down. You will not want to put this book down as you read of her travels through America and Europe. You will watch her character develop and grow as she encounters difficult circumstances that change her thinking.
I thought this book was very captivating! You just can not wait until the next page to see where this characters journey is taking her. The other characters in the book are also intriguing and help make the book enjoyable. I thought the conversations and setting also helped make this book worth reading. They were definitely not just page fillers!
There are also lessons to learn while reading this book. Acceptance and forgiveness are two prominent lessons. Although this is a fiction book, the author does a superb job of illustrating some important Biblical principles. Overall this was a great story with an intriguing character and some interesting settings so I gave this book 5/5 stars.
I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.