The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In the Summer of 1889 Amelia van den Broek leaves her country home in Maine to spend a season with her cousins the Stewarts in Baltimore. There she will attend dinners, go calling, and even attend balls where she hopes to find a suitable husband. But as the sun sets Amelia finds more than she ever hoped for, for in the vespers she sees the future. At first intrigued and excited by this new power, Amelia is an immediate sensation, but as her darkest predictions begin to come true those she loves and trusts begin to turn on her. In a world where the slightest misstep can lead to ruin, Amelia walks a fine line between the other world and a love that is unacceptable.
I couldn't put this one down. Saundra Mitchell pulls you into the late 1800s with sounds, settings, and tea services. The novel felt so authentic that I felt like I was right there gossiping with the girls in their tight corsets at teas, dinners, and balls. She leaves you on the edge of your seat as the girl flaunt and tease with propriety knowing that if they were caught it would be ruin.
The characters in this novel are exceptionally well developed. Amelia, who doesn't understand her powers, is at once both excited by and afraid of them. The visions at first positive have a dark side that frightens her. When she meets Nathaniel, he excites her in ways she has never known before, unfortunately he is below her station and not an acceptable match for a well bred girl like her. Zora is a city girl who loves Thomas Rea who just happens to be at the very edge of what is considered a suitable match. Other characters come and go, and all hold your interest.
What I loved about this book was its authenticity. It felt like I was stepping back in time. It pulled me in and kept me reading. I had to know what happened next--every little detail. In a word, it was magic.
Overall, a great historical fiction novel with a touch of the paranormal. A book too good to miss!
Cautions for sensitive readers: Mild violence, but very clean otherwise. A good choice for those looking for novels with paranormal aspects that are also clean reads.
View all my reviews