Friday, June 22, 2012
"Glamorous Illusions" by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Whaaaaat???? Nooooo!!!! This can't be the end of it?!?!?! GRRRRRR!!!
As you can imagine, I finished reading this book, and I was extremely frustrated with it. You want to know why? BECAUSE!!!!!!!!
Because when that last chapter was over I found myself madly clicking the next button on the Kindle, wondering where the rest of the story had gone. Then I wondered... perhaps Netgalley didn't send the whole thing.. you know, it's possible... (not really). And, I had almost convinced myself of it too, until I saw this horrendous message on the last page "book 2 coming out in spring 2013... book 3 coming out in fall 2012" gah!!!!!!!!!
So, it turned out this was a trilogy. A TRILOGY!!!!!!!! How unbelievably cruel!!!!! What of us readers? How are we supposed to wait a whole year for the sequel of this amazing novel??? I want it NOW!!!!!!
Lisa T. Bergren, I want to let you know that even though, in my humble opinion, you may be the next Jane Austen, you are one mean, mean woman! Yes, that's right! Very mean, and cruel and heartless! Just so you know.
Okay, now that I vented out, I'm going to proceed to explain why exactly I felt so strongly about this novel.
First of all, the world building was incredible. Every step of the way I found myself right there beside the characters. Whether in Montana, aboard the Olympic, London or Paris, I could feel the atmosphere of each place and how it affected the personality of the characters. It was amazing, really.
I loved how Ms. Bergren handled the POV's. Cora, the lead female was speaking in first person, while Will's and Mr. Kensington's (who are the only other voices we hear) chapters were in third person. This way, Cora's experiences seemed more personal.. almost as if I was in her shoes.
The story itself was masterfully written, with tension, passion and all kinds of love, intertwining with an abundance of anger, hurt, hate and irritation that made all the characters incredibly realistic. You won't see a two dimensional character here. Not even the servants, or background characters were such. Which made me love every single person Ms. Bergren wrote about. From the main ones, like Cora and Will, to Vivian and Andrew, and even to Anna and Stuart and Antonio.
And now let's talk about the characters themselves.
*Cora - oh, she was an amazing young woman. She was bright and brave, outspoken and straight forward. I was impressed by her revolutionary ideas, her thinking process. Because in the beginning of the 20th century, women weren't supposed to voice their thoughts. They weren't even supposed to have thoughts. But Cora was a girl with an opinion, and she wasn't afraid to shout it out for the whole world to hear.
I hated how her eldest sister treated her most of the time - like she was undesired, trash, completely unloved and unwanted. But through it all, Cora continued to fight - if not for the love of her siblings, than for her own self. Because with the help of God she was beginning to discover that it isn't important what others think of you, how they perceive you. Nor is it important to change yourself so other people will like you. What's important is to find out who you are, and why God's placed you where you are. And that He's always there to help, to hold you high.
*Will - He started out as a sweet guy, and remained so all through the end. But the way he developed was pretty amazing. From interest, to confusion, to trying not to think about his impossible interest, to jealousy. And through it all, he remained the sweet guy, who was ready to protect a woman's honor at all costs. I think I fell in love with him - the way he carried himself, the way he risked his life for the sake of the clients he was taking on the Grand Tour. And the elderly couple he helped on board of Olympic... he was really someone special.
*Mr.Kensington - I don't think I ever hated him. True, he had an illegitimate child, but his wife knew, and he decided to do the right thing by both his family, and the maid he'd fallen in love with. I was honestly proud of the man! You can't see a mine-king of his class do all the things he did for Cora and her parents.
*Pierre de Richelieu was the charming man, for whom it was always easy to steal a woman's heart. I loved how he treated Cora, the special attention he showed her. I truly hope he'd fallen for her. But I don't believe she belongs with him. Anyway, he wasn't some stupid aristocrat, completely spoiled with no sense of responsibility or honor. Indeed, he was the exact opposite. And I have the feeling that he's being true to Cora.
I'm so curious as to where this story would go. What turns it would take. What adventures it would lead the characters to encounter. I can't explain just how much it moved me. So I'll definitely be waiting for the sequel. My rating can be nothing but
NOTE: This book was kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.