The 1920s seem to be a very popular period in literature at the moment.
I’ve read a lot of books lately set in this time period which is fun because it’s a period that often gets passed over in historical fiction.
The Regency, Tudor, and Victorian era always seem to garner the most literary action when it comes to historical fiction.
In this book we meet young New York socialite Vera Bellington who passes her days with champagne-soaked socializing and then at night she waits for her less than attentive husband to come home to her, which basically never happens.
Her life is lonely to say the least and she is longing for some kind of excitement…..anything to break up the monotony in her life.
Then along comes French artist, Emil Hallan who moves into her building. He is mysterious and his art work is also a mystery to Vera so she is soon intrigued and curious about this young, handsome painter. Somehow she finds herself drawn to Emil’s warmth and passion but yet she is suspicious about him.
Both of them clearly have secrets that they are keeping from each other but eventually their past and their secrets begin catching up to them. When the dangerous mysteries of Emil’s past are revealed, Vera faces an impossible choice–whether to cling to her familiar world of privilege and propriety or to risk her future with the enigmatic man who has taken her heart.
One of the things that I thought the author did really well in this book was attention to historic detail. I could really picture the clothes, jewelry, the fashions etc as well as the dialogue between characters and the social constraints that Vera had during that time. I really really enjoyed the historic details of this book. I felt like I was really there experiencing and interacting with all these things as a reader.
I liked the characters just fine….I don’t know that I connected with them or their love story in the way that I had hoped. I felt like Vera was a little to pensive for me as a reader. I almost expected her to be more bold and more decisive when it came to her heart.
I often felt like she was weighing her choices too heavily….on one hand I get it because as a woman of the period, she would have been ruined socially leaving her husband but she obviously didn’t really have a ‘relationship’ with him etc. I guess I felt like women in this period (especially in the books I’ve read in this period) are typically seen as more ‘defiant’ of social norms and in this case I didn’t feel like Vera was entirely up to snuff in that department.
I did however enjoy some of the secondary characters a lot. For one I really liked Poppy. She was funny and brought an interesting element to the story. And while the ending wrapped a little too quickly for my taste, I felt that it was fitting and ‘finished’. Everything was resolved and I was pleased with the resolution overall.
I am in love with the cover too. I love the pale green dress on the woman and the whole color scheme and font selection screams 1920s high society New York. It was a very fitting cover choice for the book. I loved it!
Overall this is a decent summer read. If you are a fan of the period you will not be disappointed in the attention to historic detail!
ebook, 304 pagesExpected publication: May 3rd 2016 by Crown
- Review copy provided by: Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 3 out of 5
Genre: Historic fiction, romance
Memorable lines/quotes: NA