Wonderful book! Book 1 of the Grand Tour series. This is the story of Cora Diehl, a young Montana farm girl, who learns a secret her parents didn't want her know, but it has become necessary. She becomes part of a travel party on a grand tour of Europe. For Cora, this is not only a discovery of the wonders of Europe, but a discovery of who she is beyond the name. The book begins in 1913 Montana and ends in Paris. Cora feels an attraction to Will, who is their guide, along with his uncle. On the boat from England to France, she meets the dashing Pierre de Richelieu who is smitten with her. This is a series that must be read in its entirety to reveal the whole story.
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.