Julie Klassen is one author whose books I will never give away, discard, or otherwise dispose of them. She writes high quality all of the time. I have only missed reading one of her books, but it will definitely be in my TBR pile before too long.
About an hour ago I finished reading The Painter's Daughter, and that's because I still had about half of the book to read at 1:00 AM today and I felt I needed some sleep.
Sophia Margaretha DuPont is the daughter of a sought-after artist. Her father often allows other aspiring artists to come and hone their craft under his tutelage. One of those artists is Wesley Overtree, eldest son of the Overtree Estate owner. Stephen, the second son, and a captain in the Royal Army, has arrived to bring Wesley home, but finds his cottage empty. Sophia offers to help him clean out the cottage and ship Wesley's belongings home. Stephen is a bit more perceptive than Sophia would like and figures out that his brother has left her pregnant while he sails to Italy to find his "muse." Because of his loyalty to his family, his sense of right and wrong, and his desire to please God, Stephen offers to marry Sophia. They elope to the Isle of Guernsey, and then travel to Bath to tell her father and her step-mother, and then to Overtree to tell his family. Sophia's welcome is not gracious at either place, but then her stepmother has three young children of her own, and Stephen's mother feels her son married beneath him.
Soon Sophia's pregnancy becomes apparent, Wesley returns home, Stephen goes into battle against Napoleon after he escapes Elba, and then all hell breaks loose in the Overtree home. When Sophia's friend and neighbor, Mavis, comes for a visit, Sophia decides to go back with her to have her baby in a calm environment.
This is the kind of book that will have the reader hanging onto every single word until the last page is turned and the last word is read. It's just that good. The characters are who they are, but they have depth and pathos and are incredibly believable. The settings are beautiful, and the descriptions of the artworks are awesome. Five stars, two thumbs up, and a beautifully painted portrait for your gallery.
My thanks to Bethany House for allowing me to read and review this book.