|*** May Contain Spoilers***
The Painter’s Daughter is my first ever Julie Klassen book. I had wanted to read her for so long, and finally did have a copy and started on with that feeling of relished anticipation of reading a generally much loved author for the first time. And I should emphatically venture that it was positively worth it!
I won’t repeat what the blurb definitely speaks about the story, because you already know that. So I will stick to my views of the book since there is so much more to the book than the blurb could justify.
The premise to the story is very interesting, and the best part is, the book kept me hooked and on the edge at so many places. There is romance, drama, suspense, intrigue, hidden rooms, faith, lost loves, societal norms and standards, issues of physical disability and past secrets all in a beautiful blend. Few books and authors have it in them to be able to make me cry. And cry I definitely did at a few places. (Read Stephen’s departure to the regiment and the consequent updates that follow.)
Though the focus of the book is on Sophie Dupont Overtree, to me the most endearing character has to be Stephen hands down. He stole the show. He is a sweetheart ❤ and all his gestures towards Sophie, his family, his nurse and friends are so lovable. He is not perfect and yet perfect in the most romantic manner. My heart goes out for him through all pages of the book. He is brooding and stern but has the kindest of hearts. He is dependable and responsible. Mature and conscientious. Fighter and survivor. A man of Faith and Belief. A giant of a man with so much love within him. I absolutely loved him! ❤
Sophie, I had a long time to come to like her. I’m biased I know, because I may have started having a partiality for Stephen even as he entered the scene on the cliff. And since she could not recognize his true worth and with the veil of infatuation for his brother that covers her eyes, she fails to appreciate him for what he is, it was most difficult for me to come to like her. She comes around yes, but till then I was like, common woman, that man has saved your life and your reputation at the cost of his own! Can’t you see?? But then she does realize and starts to care and hold affection for him. [All these behaviours on her part are very natural, and the author has beautifully captured everything very realistically. It’s just my reader’s eye that is biased, that is all! ;p]
Stephen and Sophie’s bond, that begins on a weak and slippery note, goes on to strengthen and beautify in the process. Some of their scenes together, positively struck a cord with me, like when Stephen is leaving for his regiment, and also when he goes to Sophy and the baby and that heart touching scene they have together. Beauty of it is, they express without words to the other and the other understands perfectly. ❤ ❤ ❤
I wish I could kill a character! I so do! I would have happily killed Wesley. Without remorse. He is selfish, conceited, arrogant and just simply repugnant. How could Sophie have been so blind, I failed to understand initially. But then she was never well loved and appreciated for her beauty and talent, so is drawn to the only man who ever did so!
The secondary characters and the parallel stories that run with the book are also very well in the blend and give the book added substance. I loved Kate and the colonel. I was sceptical about Winnie. Found Claude Dupont a weak man, was chagrined at his second wife and hated Murice every word of the book he was covered in! Carlton Keith was wobbly going back and forth, but substantiates eventually. Mr. And Mrs. Overtree Sr were partial parents, though they care for all their offspring, they have their specific preferences. Which annoys me. Miss Angela Blake I found intriguing, and was proved right eventually around the close of the book about my suspicions regarding her that had garnered a spot in my mind from the very beginning of her introduction.
Commendable job by the author. She has created such realistic characters that you do indeed want to hug (Read Captain Stephen Overtree) them or punch (Read Wesley and Maurice!) them, whatever the case may be!
After this first successful attempt of my reading the author, I definitely wish to read more of her works now.