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Back when I worked for my hometown newspaper, there was a section called “Back Over the Trails” which featured top headlines from one, five, ten, even one hundred years ago. Going through the big archives and putting that feature together each week was one of my favorite tasks!
I thought we’d borrow the tradition and start a little #tbt (Throw Back Thursday) feature here on the blog. Each Thursday we’ll “throwback” to a review from last year so let me know if you’ve read the book or added it to your tbr!
About the Book
Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It’s where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she’s beautiful.
Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother’s neglected duties. Home on leave, he’s sent to find Wesley. Knowing his brother rented a cottage from a fellow painter, he travels to Devonshire and meets Miss Dupont, the painter’s daughter. He’s startled to recognize her from a miniature portrait he carries with him–one of Wesley’s discarded works. But his happiness plummets when he realizes Wesley has left her with child and sailed away to Italy in search of a new muse.
Wanting to do something worthwhile with his life, Stephen proposes to Sophie. He does not offer love, or even a future together, but he can save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he believes he will, she’ll be a respectable widow with the protection of his family.
Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie agrees to marry a stranger and travel to his family’s estate. But at Overtree Hall, her problems are just beginning. Will she regret marrying Captain Overtree when a repentant Wesley returns? Or will she find herself torn between the father of her child and her growing affection for the husband she barely knows?
Sophie’s assistance to her father and her own talent in landscapes are seemingly dismissed by him and he is overly critical towards her. Between his indifference and his assistant’s leering, it’s no wonder she enjoyed escaping to the coast! When her father is away on business, Sophie falls in love with handsome, smooth-talking artist Wesley Overtree, who has also come to the coast to capture the breathtaking views. Unfortunately, it seems to be a timeless truth that innocent, lonely young ladies are easily taken advantage of.
Wesley, the flatterer sets sail for Italy without so much as a proper goodbye, leaving heartbroken Sophie in a remorseful and compromised state. The scoundrel! Captain Stephen Overtree arrives just in time to miss his flighty brother and try to provide for the distressed young lady left behind. His military training may have instilled him with a sense of duty and honor but he certainly struggles through comforting the damsel in distress. “I’ll marry you since I expect to die soon,” doesn’t exactly sweep a girl off her feet. Family drama and mystery ensue as the Captain and Sophie move forward and try to make the best of a situation no one saw coming.
Julie kept me on the edge of my seat for all 450+ pages. I loved experiencing Stephen and Sophie’s journey. The Painter’s Daughter is such a delightfully complex story with vivid characters and heart-wrenching circumstances.
I requested the opportunity to read this book through the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own. This review was originally posted 03/25/16.
About the Author
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time.
Three of her books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also won the Midwest Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award, and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award, and been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards.
She blogs at Inspired by Life and Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Have you read The Painter’s Daughter or added it to your tbr?