After reading just one of Julie Klassen’s books, I was absolutely hooked! She reminds me of a contemporary Victoria Holt in many ways. She has t his great story telling style with romance and a little bit of Gothic and mystery added on (to some of her books). Typically when something comes up for review by Klassen, I am fully on board! I was pleasantly surprised to see that this book kicks off a new series for Klassen, most of her books are standalone so this made me extra excited to check it out!
Klassen is a Christian fiction author, which I know isn’t necessarily for everyone. But with that said, I personally feel like her books are really more historical fiction. They do have some elements of Christian fiction but for me the dominant theme is more historical fiction and romance than anything else. In this book in particular I felt like it almost ran more to Women’s fiction with the sister element of this one but in a Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility kind of way if that makes sense.
At any rate, I took a break from my murder mystery thriller series that I have been burning through, to read this one. And now I am dying to read all of Klassen’s books! As soon as I am done with the Tracers Series, I am moving right on to another Klassen book. She always writes such well developed characters and a lovely story so I can honestly say I am never disappointed in anything that she writes.
When their father’s death leaves them impoverished, Sarah Summers and her genteel sisters fear they will be forced to sell the house and separate to earn livelihoods as governesses or companions. Determined to stay together, Sarah convinces them to open their seaside home to guests to make ends meet and provide for their ailing mother. Instead of the elderly invalids they expect to receive, however, they find themselves hosting eligible gentlemen. Sarah is soon torn between a growing attraction to a mysterious Scottish widower and duty to her family.
Viola Summers wears a veil to cover her scar. When forced to choose between helping in her family’s new guest house and earning money to hire a maid to do her share, she chooses the latter. She reluctantly agrees to read to some of Sidmouth’s many invalids, preferring the company of a few elders with failing eyesight to the fashionable guests staying in their home. But when her first client turns out to be a wounded officer in his thirties, Viola soon wishes she had chosen differently. Her new situation exposes her scars–both visible and those hidden deep within–and her cloistered heart will never be the same.
Join the Summers sisters on the Devonshire coast, where they discover the power of friendship, loyalty, love, and new beginnings.
As I would expect from Klassen, this book features well developed and were such a joy to read! I loved getting to know Sarah and her sisters and of course and eager to read more about them in the upcoming series! I thought Sarah was an excellent main character, but also a great intro character to the larger series. Sarah was committed, tenacious, and so sweet that I think many readers will find her a delight to read. I know I could certainly relate to her as not only the eldest daughter but also her humor which just endeared her to me. Klassen has a clear love of Jane Austen and that shows in her characters and story, her books and characters are Austen like but with a modern twist. If you are an Austen fan you are going to find a lot to love in this book!
What really shines in this book though is the family relationships. They way the sisters relate to one another and interact is so genuine. This book has some different POVs and I felt like each POV was very true to each of the sisters. I never felt like any of the sisters were our of character, each of them fit nicely within the story and fit relationally in the narrative. I was invested in each of their stories and personalities and am eager to read more of Viola and her romance in future books. I love how Klassen leaves readers satisfied with Sarah’s romance and story but eager for more with Viola.
This book did read a little slow at certain parts. It never crossed over into ‘boring’ territory though, it just had some parts where the build up was solid and well paced then all of a sudden things would slow down and start to build up again. In a way I liked that style as it helped me savor parts of the story but I mention it just so people are aware that there are some slower parts. This book has wonderful historical details as well. Not so much that it’s overwhelming but enough for fans of the genre to devour the historical details. I absolutely loved Klassen’s latest book and cannot wait to read more from her in this series! If you love historical fiction with romance, sisterly relationships, and attention to historical detail then look no further!
Book Info and Rating
Format: 448 pages, paperback
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers, December 6th 2022
Free review copy provided by publisher, Bethany House Publisher in partnership with Austen Prose Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 star
Genre: Christian fiction, historical fiction
VIDEO INTRODUCTION TO THE SISTERS OF SEA VIEW BY JULIE KLASSEN
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Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold over a million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.
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