The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
The summer of 1889 is the one between childhood and womanhood for Amelia van den Broek - and thankfully, she's not spending it at home in rural Maine. She's been sent to Baltimore to stay with her stylish cousin, Zora, who will show her al the pleasures of city life and help her find a suitable man to marry.
With diversions ranging from archery in the park to dazzling balls and hints of forbidden romance, Victorian Baltimore is more exciting than Amelia imagined. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at susnset - visions that offer glimpsees of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. Newly dubbed "Main'es Own Mystic," Amelia is suddenly quiet in demand.
However, her attraction to Nathaniel, an artist who is decidedly outside or Zora's circle, 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. And while she has no trouble seing the futures fo others, seh cannot predic whether Nathaniel will remain in hers.
When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia's world is thrown into chaos. And those around ehr begin to wonder if she's not the seer of dark portents, but the cause of them.
I was extatic to read this book, and my friend Aryn bought it for me and surprised me with it! The summary just seemed amazing and intriguing. I'm sorry to say I was horribly let down.
The book starts out sort of confusing. She is at her brother's house and he has locked her up. Then it goes back in time a few months to when she starts her life in Baltimore. It was really interesting to learn about the balls they atteneded, and how they courted and the way Nathaniel was being ungentlemanly by touching Amelia's hand. It made me laugh a few times. But, it soon grew boring. It wasn't until about one hundred pages in I think that she had her first vision, but nothing really grew from it. She didn't really do much about it. Then a couple times she went to people's houses and foretold their prophecies, but soon that grew boring too. It wasn't until the last like 40 pages that there was finally something exciting and interesting happening, and it still let me down. Nathaniel's secret was so strange and confusing, and I really hated the end. There is one tiny good thing about it, but overall it was lacking.
Amelia was a cute little character I have to say. The way she wanted to follow the rules, but in the end just never could was funny. I also liked her reactions to Nathaniel. And sometimes, especially towards the end, the way people treated her was awful, so I was sort of rooting for her a little bit.
I think the story line and plot is good, I just don't think it was carried out in the best way. It was too slow for me and took me a while to finish it. Parts were confusing and the author just sort of assumed we knew what things were, but since I don't know much about the Victorian era, I got a little confused.
I think I might have expected too much out of this book. I had high hopes (maybe too high) and they were just crushed when I read it. I'm just overall really dissapointed. It wasn't anything like I imagined it to be.
Overall Rating: 1.5 Stars