The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
Release Date: March 7th, 2011
Harcourt, 293 Pages
Source: Bought for Kindle
Series: The Vespertine #1
It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him. When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.
So, this book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting – which I liked. I like when I’m able to let my mind wander and try to fit some of the pieces together. Especially when I’m not always right about things. Nathaniel wasn’t what I thought he was. Even Amelia wasn’t what I thought she was.
I admit, I’m not one for “historical fiction” (The only book that I’ve read that takes place outside modern times is Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.) but I really enjoyed The Vespertine. The prose is simply amazing; really written like an 1800s classic. The descriptions of the elaborate fabrics and dresses and clothing – it took me away to a 1889 Baltimore. Interestingly enough, I knew exactly where some of the places mentioned in the book were since Baltimore is only a 45 minute drive from where I live. And to imagine those places more than 100 years ago was really great for me.
The most chuckle-worthy part of this book for me:
“The point is that he’ll be able to keep a wife soon, which means he’ll want one.”
“Does a man ever want one?”
Oh, how things have not changed much since then.
Now with all of the good things said, I will say that I can understand some people who might not like this book due to its..slow pace? non on-the-edge-of-your-seatness? This book isn’t “action-packed” and there’s not a lot of anything going on other than everyday life, but I ENJOYED that. It was a nice read for a holiday weekend and would be great for a beach trip!