Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book Love - The Vespertine

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.

You know what I love the most about books that take place around the late 1800s-early 1900s? They are so swoony! Something so simple like a brush of a fingertip to bare skin or a glimpse of a wrist can have someone's heart beating overtime for days, and I love that about this time period! I love how meaningful a kiss was back then, and a look, and a whisper. It's so much fun to read about the swoon, and there was a lot of it in this book between Ameila and Nathaniel.

I also love the clothes and the customs of this era. I love the calling cards and the gloves and the sitting rooms and the chaperones. I'm certainly glad I didn't live during that time, but it would be fun for about a week to play dress up and flit about town. The Vespertine does a great job of capturing everything I love about this time period in a beautiful historical novel that is so much fun to read.

There's also a mysterious magical element as well, as Amelia is able to see the future, but only at sunset. This book doesn't travel too deeply into the fantastical, and that's what I really liked about it. It was historical at it's core, with this softer element of Amelia's powers. So if you aren't as much into the magic stuff, don't worry, it's not so prominent that it will turn you off from this beautiful historical story. And if you do like the magic stuff, then you'll really enjoy how Amelia's powers evolve and how they impact her life in ways she never even imagined.

Lots of swoon, lots of turn of the century fun, and even some future-telling powers. Oh, and that gorgeous dress on the cover. Love! (And is it just me, or does that model look like Katie Holmes? Dawson's Creek Katie Holmes, not Crazytown Katie Holmes) I didn't expect to enjoy this one as much as I did, but it really kept me turning the pages.

Thanks to NetGalley for the e-galley


  1. i love the clothes they used to wear in this period, too. Have you 'The Young Victoria?' This film is set around this time. Clothes - especially teh mens are pretty cool.

  2. So funny that you referenced Dawson's Creek in this review because when I read the MC's name (Amelia van den Broek) I totally thought of James van der Beek. :) Thanks for this rec. The cover is gorgeous and the story sounds very cool. I'll definitely be adding it to my list!