The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
Release Date: March 7, 2011
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him. When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.
This book was unlike the type I typically read. I'm not much of a historical reader, but I'm glad I tried this one. It was so interesting to see the historical detail in this story. The author obviously did her research, and I felt transported by the ambience of the time period and the lush backdrop of old parties and the "society" of the day. It sucked me in completely.
Amelia's character was intriguing, strong, but still somewhat sad, due to various events that occur in the story. Amelia's visions, I knew, were going to end up getting her into trouble, which wasn't much of a guess, considering how the story starts, but I still found myself upset for her when the inevitable occurred.
Nathaniel was a sexy character. It wasn't anything in particular that made me feel that way. He just was. And the interactions between these two were hot, but still so sweet. Their encounters were made even more compelling by the beautiful language of the prose.
Saundra Mitchell's writing was my favorite thing about this story. It was beautiful, lyrical, poetic. It was a pleasure to read just to be able to savor its beauty. There are a few authors like that whom I've read that just make me want to read their work for the sake of the work itself. Check the teasers I posted this week for a taste of her writing and you'll see what I mean.
I seriously loved this story, these characters, and most especially Saundra Mitchell's writing. I would highly recommend it to anyone, but especially to those readers that love a beautifully crafted sentence.
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