I really enjoyed Klassen's The Apothecary's Daughter where you were kept guessing on the romance until the end. This one, however, revealed background details so slowly that I got bored. There wasn't much action... just a lot of conversations. There were too many secondary characters and I even found myself feeling bored with the main characters. I skipped half the book and read the last two chapters just to get the wrap-up and they were slow, too!
If you like regency romance, The Apothecary's Daughter (5 stars) and the Maid of Fairbourne Hall (4 1/2 stars) are much better. I liked The Painter's Daughter, too (4 stars). I have not read her other books yet.
Mariah finds herself and her companion living in the old gatehouse of her aunts estate due to her grave error in judgment with a man. Her family has cast her out and she only hopes to hide her secret and heal for she thought the man really loved her. Her aunt was in poor health and she soon finds herself at the mercy of her cousin who does not show the same compassion as her aunt. After her aunts death the estate is rented out to a former navy captain. Matthew hopes to use the estate to impress and win the heart of a woman he thinks he loves. Yet once he meets Mariah he slowly starts to question that idea. Can Mariah keep her secrets from him and will Matthew win the heart of his lady or will love win them both?
What I liked: I really liked Mariah, Matthew and all the supporting characters. The poor house residents added a nice side story and helped keep the plot interesting. The depth of this book was good you really got to know the characters and what they were going through felt real. The storyline was well-developed and easy to follow.
What I did not like: As much as I enjoyed this book it was a slow read. It seemed to take forever to get this story moving. I understand that the characters needed to develop but it just didnt keep me glued to each page. The side story about Captain Prince was interesting but kind of odd and just did not draw me.
Overall this book was okay. It just did not keep me glued to the book. There were a few times where I just wanted to jump ahead and see how things turned out. There was a lot going on in this book almost to many side plots. But I did like the characters and once we did get to the end I was happy to see how things turned out. If you like historical fiction you might enjoy this book.
I enjoyed this book. Although all of the books I have read by Julie Klassen have been good, this has to be one of my two favorites. The characters are believable and it was great to read a book about people looking for God's plan in their lives and the power of love and forgiveness. If you start this book, you won't understand why I love it unless you read it all the way through. I hope you enjoy it a much as I did.
I read this book in an evening, so obviously it kept my interest. I've read quite a few of Julie Klassen's books, and this was probably one of the better ones.
This story was about love, forgiveness and finding beauty through hardships. I was certainly intrigued by the main characters, but I think it was all the secondary characters that really brought the story to life.
All in all, it was worth spending my evening on, but I don't think I'll ever read it again. I would recommend it to fans of Julie's and those who enjoy a "Jane Austen era" novel.