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The Vespertine: Review

Title: The Vespertine Author: Saundra Mitchell
Release Date: March 2011
Published By: Harcourt
Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 370 pages
Goodreads Rating: 3.82 stars

Review: Amelia van den Broek is different. She sees visions of the future, or what she calls "vespers", that only come to her at sunset. When she comes to Baltimore, eager to live a happy, simple life of everything the large city has to offer, people find out about her visions and call upon her to learn their futures. But soon, her forbidden romance with the mysterious artist, Nathaniel, isn't the only thing threatening her new way of life. Her visions are getting darker, and when one of them comes to pass, people begin to wonder: is she predicting the future, or causing it?

I came across few good reviews of THE VESPERTINE, so I was a little wary to start it. Despite my low expectations, I found myself enjoying the book a lot more than I thought I would. As befitting a historical novel, the writing has an older elegance to it while still remaining accessible to modern readers. The description in particular was beautiful, painting vivid scenes and planting the reader firmly in the unique setting of Baltimore, 1889.

Though I liked it, this book wasn't by any means perfect. I felt like there was a great deal of potential, but that it simply wasn't developed enough in certain areas. This opinion has been voiced before, but I wish the paranormal aspect was more fleshed out. I wanted to know more about Amelia and her powers, especially regarding their origin and why they occur. I also wanted a more developed romance between Nathaniel and Amelia, as sexy as their interactions were. They talked a little and then were suddenly in love.

Overall, this is a decent book for anyone who doesn't find themselves often reading historical fiction. The prose is perfect for the time era, and that, along with the vivid description, transports you straight into the novel. Certain aspects could have used some fleshing out, such as the paranormal part and the romance, but despite the mixed reviews, THE VESPERTINE is ultimately a fascinating and suspenseful read.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review. This is no way affected my review, which is 100% honest.


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