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.
Well rounded tale, with an excellent portrayal of class distinction in the years before WWI.
I absolutely loved this book, with a setting and time period that is so in vogue right now, (think Downton Abbey), and a leading character that won my heart over from the start.
When her father has a stroke, Cora's life changes forever in ways that she could never imagine in her wildest dreams, and I liked the way that she handled herself in the many tough situations that she had to endure.
The characters were really well developed, and many were not straight up what I thought they were on first meeting them.
I liked the quick and steady pace of the plot, and how parts of the story were told in first person by Cora, and others in third person by others, such as Wallace and Will.
Overall, I think this is a book that I would most certainly recommend to fans of historical novels with a wonderful depth to them. And I loved going on the grand tour with Cora and her new found companions. Highly recommend!
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
Christian historical fiction is a genre that I've become more involved in reading lately. Lisa T. Bergren's Glamorous Illusions is the beginning of a series set during a time period I've not read much about -- the early 20th century.
In the summer of 1913, Cora returns home from a year of study in her preparation to become a teacher. There is no way she could have guessed the turn her life is about to take when a long-kept secret is revealed. Cora moves from trying to help her parents maintain the failing family farm to a life of privilege with the family of a copper king. She reluctantly agrees to accompany newly found relatives on a Grand Tour of Europe.
As Cora travels through England, France, and Italy, experiencing things she never would have dreamed possible, she struggles to "find herself." She is torn between loyalty to her parents and the life they've given her and the possibilities opening up in her new life. How can she reconcile the two completely different worlds and maintain a sense of who she really is? And what will she make of the opportunities for love that come along when she least expects them?
One of the things I really enjoy about historical fiction is the opportunity to learn facts of the time period, in the setting of an interesting story. I had never heard of the practice of the Grand Tour, which was evidently a part of the education of privileged young people (especially young gentlemen) in past centuries. The group was led by a tutor/chaperone, called a bear, who was responsible for exposing the young people to different cultures, teaching and protecting their clients as they traveled.
Lisa Bergen tells an interesting story that kept me involved in the twists and turns of the plot. And the ending . . . well, she definitely left me hanging and wanting more. I'll be anxiously awaiting the second book of this series.
This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group for my honest review.
What would it be like to be raised on a Montana farm, a farm that barely eek's out a living, struggling to pay the essential bills and put food you didn't raise on the table. Cora Diehl and her parents know all too well what it is like. With a drought, and her fathers ill health, Cora is wondering how she will continue her schooling at Normal School (teacher's college).
Now imagine that a man, Wallace Kensington, a Montana Copper King, comes to your door. He tells you that he is your biological father, and tells you that you have siblings. He also offers to pay for your father's medical expenses, take care of the farm's debts, pay for your schooling, and send you on an European tour. What would you do? This was Cora's dilemma.
Cora decides, with the encouragement of her mother, to go with Mr. Kensington, which opens up a new world for her. Suddenly money isn't an issue, but, not being raised in it, it is like entering a whole new world. A world of butlers, personal maids, formal dining and fancy clothes.
I enjoyed the story, meeting Cora, Mr. Kensington and his children, the Morgans and Will. The journey across the Atlantic on the Olympic, the Titanic's sister ship, was almost uneventful. England and France, the places I only get to visit in books, was romantic, heartbreaking, exciting, as well as, suspenseful.
I am looking forward to the next books in the series,and I hope that these same characters will be featured as the story continues.
I give Glamorous Illusions by Lisa Tawn Bergren 5 out of 5 stars.
**Glamorous Illusions (book one in the Grand Tour Series) by Lisa Tawn Bergren was provided for me free by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.
The setting is the early 1900s, when it was the tradition for wealthy young adults to take a Ã¢â¬ËGrand Tour of Europe' to broaden their minds and see other cultures. Cora Diehl just arrived off the train from her first year at normal school where she is training to become a teacher. When her father suffers a stroke, her whole world turns upside down. Cora is determined to keep the farm running so her parents can pay off loans and she can return to college, but her father's health takes a turn for the worse, and Cora's life turns upside down when her previously unknown birth father, shows up and presents her with a shocking choice. Cora returns to Butte, Montana with him to join with her half siblings on a grand tour of Europe. Cora must deal with her worry for her parents, her anger over their decision to not tell her of her parentage, a new father, and siblings who are shocked and angry, all while traveling around Europe.
This is a great read. I cannot wait for the next installment; I will definitely read them all. The characters are strong with a desire to turn to the Lord for his strength, and Bergren tells the story through multiple eyes allowing the reader to develop a relationship with them. Bergeren does a beautiful job of describing the fashions and the scenery. This is a great choice for readers who prefer their romances to come with a little extra including suspense, history, and heart tugging sorrow.