Title: Glamorous Illusions
Author: Lisa Tawn Bergren
It was the summer of 1913, and Cora Kensington's life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. Not only are the crops failing, so is her father's health. Cora is carrying on, helping her mother run their Montana farm until a stranger comes to call, and everything changes. Cora then learns a secret that will radically change her future: she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king who has come to claim her.
Cora is invited to take the "Grand Tour" of Europe, a journey intended to finish a person's education, to solidify an understanding of ancient culture and contemporary refinement. As she travels from England to France with half-siblings she's never known, Cora encounters the blessings of the Kensington family name, as well as the curses. But when an unbidden love begins to form, she realizes the journey is only beginning.
Faced with the challenge of accepting her father, new family, and the identity that comes with it, Cora also struggles to accept that she is also the daughter of the one true King-a Father who is the only One who can truly heal.
What a fantastic journey, Glamorous Illusions was. There are about 100 different reasons why you should not hesitate and read this book. Perhaps you will see it merely as a Cinderella story with a hint of faith in the background, or maybe a love triangle or perhaps a lesson on European sites? No. This was so, so much more.
Glamorous Illusions is a journey based on young Cora Diehl. The setting reminded me of the beautiful writing of Jeannette Oak, in the Love Comes Softly series. This story began in 1913, Montana. Cora came home from “teacher college” to find her father had suffered a stroke. The times were difficult, and being farmers during a drought surely weighed heavily on the families. Cora drew strength from her faith as she set out to conquer these difficult times, without the help of her father's ailing self. Upon these hard times, a stranger comes to aide Cora and her family. He was no stranger though, he was a secret tucked deep beneath the shell of her mother. A secret that will change the course of Cora's future, but deep down, not the person she grew up to be. Cora now has the weight of an elephant on her shoulders. I couldn't imagine how she feels with all the new information and decisions she was facing. Truly ones a mature young woman who believes in her faith must think heavily on.
Cora was invited to take the “Grand Tour” of Europe. This trip was intended to finish the client's education and an understanding of refinement, history and culture. Cora will travel with kin she has never known, nor knew existed until the stranger came. She was thrown into a new world so unlike anything she had ever known or experienced with companions that were shallow and unruly. It wasn't because of who she was as a person, but when you read this, I assure you all your questions will be answered.
Mrs. Bergren wrote the descriptions of these magical locations with clarity and created a beautiful vision for the reader. I could easily picture the chateau's, the lovely gardens and the beautiful dresses adorned by the women of this era.
Not only along the route does Cora ask for guidance from the big guy above, but she personally needed to figure out who she will be, where she fits into it all. There are many characters that play a vital role in such a fantastic story, but in Glamorous Illusions, there are a few male counterparts that really stand out and will make you melt. The french accent of (Pierre) Lord de Richelieu, which the name just the icing on the cake compared to how alluring and swoonworthy he is. There also is Will. Will (sigh) is as swoonworthy, but beneath his layers of awesomenss, he too is seeking for answers.
Throughout this journey, I had been captivated from the very beginning to the very end. There's just something so magical about the way Mrs. Bergren writes. I fell hard for her River Of Time series. If you have not read Waterfall, Cascade and Torrent, I highly suggest you do so, like, yesterday. Once you get a feel for her writing, you just melt into the story with ease and read at a leisurely pace so you can soak in the beautiful descriptions and settings as well as the story itself.
I have to say, she threw a twist in there that really surprised me, but in a very good way. She aims to please, and that she does.
*Book provided in exchange for honest review.
Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 30 books, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. She just finished writing a Colorado historical trilogy (the first book, Breathe, Sing and Claim), and has begun a teen series called River of Time.
Lisa's time is split between managing home base, writing (including a fair amount of travel writing), consulting and freelance editing (with a little speaking here and there). She's married to Tim, a liturgical sculptor, graphic designer and musician. They have three kids-Olivia (15), Emma (12) and Jack (7).
All five of the Bergrens make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
For more information on Lisa and to view other books written, please visit her website: http://lisatawnbergren.com/
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