Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Post-Civil War, Belmont Mansion GEM of a book!

A fake. A forger. More than anything, Claire Laurent longs for the chance to live an authentic life, to become the woman she wants to be. And she'll be given that choice. But will it come at too costly a price?

Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.

The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are.

A Lasting Impression is an elegantly romantic and historical novel with amazing spiritual tones throughout. I feel like it's a rare gem of a book when you find one of this depth. The characters are truly alive, prose brilliantly placed, descriptions quite magical, and most of all, the faith element is pursued perfectly throughout the novel.

If you read this book, I promise it will be time well worth your while. I took note of many details which carried with me throughout the book. The art of Claire, and how she makes things for a party. Different conversations with supporting characters that were simple but meaningful. I loved the Claire's self-discovery of her true worth, and how her faith did indeed grow, amidst her mistakes and family trouble. My heart ached for her, because you knew that sometime along the way, her past was going to come out one way or another.

Her help comes in the way of a potential suitor and then also, an employer. I had a love-hate relationship with the latter, but Ms. Adelicia Acklen grew on me. She was truly a strong personality but that is what, I believe, was needed for her to get through to Claire on several levels. I see her as a woman who intended the best for Claire and she gave her mercy despite her deceit. I appreciated that element in the book, as well as the love story that blossomed throughout.

This is one book that I will rate, whole-heartedly, a five star read. Don't miss it!

I received this book complimentary from Bethany House as part of the blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review.

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