The Painter’s Daughter involves a girl and two brothers, it could have been fairly predictable, but Julie Klassen has written a beautiful story of forgiveness, loyalty and love.
Stephen is noble and trustworthy, like Nathaniel, but with the added distinction of being a war hero. There’s an edge-of-your-seat combat scene it really brings home what these British soldiers who fought Napoleon’s troops were up against. Because of Stephen’s responsibilities he comes across as gruff at times. He’s thoughtful and courteous along with it, and there’s always a sense that his softer, romantic side might be just about to bloom.
As for Wesley, he was more than just another shallow and despicable brother, but is shown to have some scruples. A good portion of the story is told from his point of view, making it easier to understand how things appeared from his perspective.
The secondary characters and sub-plots add to the story’s charm. The little mysteries kept the pages turning. How did Stephen get his facial scar? Who was Jenny? What grudge does the mysterious Miss Angela Blake from next door carry? How about the old, retired nurse, Winnie, who lives on the top floor? Does she really possess second sight? What lies in store for the boys’ younger sister, Kate?
When Sophie agrees to marry Stephen, she doesn’t know him, but since the father of her child has left her, he seems to be her only hope to give her child a name and family and save her from scandal. A few short weeks are spent together at Overtree Hall before Stephen must return to his regiment to fight against the French. There’s a big chance that he will not return and leave Sophie a widow.
Lots of tension and twists and turns and the drama of Sofie and the Overtree brothers’ makes this book an “I can’t put it down story”. A lovely story and I highly recommend the Painter’s Daughter. Also great for a book club read and a great gift for someone who loves historical fiction.
I received a copy of book from Bethany House Publisher for my review.