Author: Saundra Mitchell
Publish Date: March 7, 2011, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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.A rustle of silk. An empty dance card. And the wait, that agonizing wait spent wondering if the Boy-Who-is-Absolutely-Wrong-for-You will show up at the dance. We’ve all had that moment, haven’t we?
Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. But 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.
Saundra Mitchell pens a story of forbidden love, one in which the couple is not only separated by the rigid rules of society but also by their own secrets, which are kept hidden. As a reader, I understood that Amelia is husband shopping but as a woman in today’s society, I completely related to her determination to shop for love and her place in a society which swaps calling cards for favors. After all, even today, it’s all about who you know and how to get the right introductions to the right people at the right time.
Let me take a minute to pause and admire Saundra’s ability to meld the historical setting with a paranormal element because she does it so incredibly well. The 1880s were a time in the United States when people dabbled in séances and attended magic performances and Amelia’s ability plays so well into this historical trend.
I’m trying hard to stay spoiler-free in this review but, I will say that what kept me turning pages was Amelia herself. I loved her journey of self-discovery from the country girl who arrived from Broken Tooth, Maine to the girl who everyone wants to speak to in the most coveted social circles of Baltimore, Maryland. I adored her smart, true-to-herself, steadfast ways. And yes, I fell in love with her Nathaniel. Feel free to add him to your list of Fictional Boyfriends. He’s naughty, slightly inappropriate but he has merits you will only discover when you read The Vespertine.
If you love a historical read with a paranormal twist, be sure to pick up The Vespertine. If you stay away from historical stories, pick it up, you will find yourself drawing parallels to current society. Go on, I dare you – “jump with me.”
You can check out the first chapter, here. And don’t forget the next story in the series, The Springsweet, is being released in on April 17th. I adore this series so much that I’m giving away a paperback edition of The Vespertine. Be sure to click on the form below to enter the giveaway:
VESPERTINE GIVEAWAY -
Fill out the form HERE to enter a giveaway of ONE paperback copy of Saundra Mitchell’s The Vespertine. Our usual giveaway rules apply. The giveaway ends on The Springsweet’s release day, April 17th at midnight CST.