Synopsis: It’s the summer of 1913, and Cora Kensington’s life on the family farm takes a dark turn. Not only do the crops fail, so does her father’s health. Cora carries, helping her mother run their Montana farm until a stranger comes to call, and everything changes. Cora then learns a secret that will radically change her future. She is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king who has come to claim her.
Cora is invited to take the “Grand Tour” of Europe, a journey intended to finish the education of his children. As she travels from England to France with half-siblings didn’t know she had, Cora encounters the blessings of the Kensington family name, as well as the curses. But when an unbidden love forms, she realizes the journey is only beginning.
Faced with the challenge of accepting her father and the identity that comes with it, Cora also struggles to accept that she is also the daughter of the one true King.
Glamorous Illusions, by Lisa T. Bergren | Book Review
REVIEW: This is the first novel I’ve read by Bergren and I must say, this novel’s premise did intrigue me like no other. Furthermore, when an author I do read compares this to Downton Abbey, I’m pretty much “sold” on the idea that this novel would be a keeper. The journey these pages take Cora on deals with identity (in the sense of emotional responsibility) and the importance of being true. Something each of us will be able to relate to in some form or another.
Before I rave about everything beautiful in this novel, I will just lay out the cons; or in the interest of accuracy I should use the word singularly not plural. It’s written in its mass in the first person. Pinpointing exactly what it is about the style I don’t like is impossible. If the plot is good and the characters aren’t wimpy or unforgettable, it’s a prose easily overcome. However it seems to stifle so much potential but here Lisa uses a unique tactic by inviting us into the minds of other minor characters. Cora is the primary and her thoughts engage us in a more journal like format, but it’s a nice trade-off to get into the minds of her father and the young tour guide. Their perspective lends a lot to this first novel that is a rich historical novel. (Plus, let’s not forget the beautiful, descriptive costumes!)That time I *finally* read a novel by Lisa T. Bergren. ‘GLAMOROUS ILLUSIONS,’ by Lisa T. Bergren. #BookReviews #HistoricalFiction #FWArchives Click To Tweet
This is easily one of those stories that sweeps you up and makes the reader want to read the end first! Seriously, I did want to know how it was going to end. It’s such an intriguing premise. I suspect that most readers are rooting for Will, but I do rather like the dashing young Frenchman, Pierre. There is something about him that makes me want to see he and Cora’s relationship explored in future novels.
Everything weaves richly into a world in which the exquisite beauty of overseas travel is easy to picture. Cora’s temptation fight is genuine and well-written; who among us wouldn’t be drawn into this kind of comfortable world. In this regard, the author has a terrific handle on these emotions. This may be the first novel I ever read by this author but it won’t be the last. Of that I am sure.
IN CONCLUSION: Book one of Lisa’s new series is, in a word, exquisite. The characters are interesting and the setting couldn’t be more beautiful. Glamorous Illusions is a story that stands on its own – and then some.
About the book:
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Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Publisher: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2012
Series: The Grand Tour – Book 1
Genre: Fiction, Christian Historical
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Rating: 5 out of 5
Many thanks to the publisher for providing this copy for reviewing purposes