I first became acquainted with the writing of Tamara Alexander this past summer, when the book club that I was attending featured her novel, The Inheritance. I was hooked.
I love to read, and there are many authors whose work I thoroughly enjoy, but in all sincerity, my favorite writer these days is Tamara Alexander. There is something in her style, a beautiful richness in her writing that engages the reader from the opening pages.
Naturally, after seeing that she would be featured on an upcoming blog tour, I was delighted to have the chance to read and review her novel, A Lasting Impression.
Before I share my thoughts though, allow me to provide you with a little information about the book and the author...
About the book:
A fake. A forger. More than anything, Claire Laurent longs for the chance to live an authentic life, to become the woman she wants to be. And she'll be given that choice. But will it come at too costly a price?
Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.
The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are.
About Tamera :
Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious--and precocious--silky terrier.
For more information please visit http://www.tameraalexander.com/
Alright, back to me. *Sigh*. I LOVED this book. The plot, the characters, all worked together from the very beginning and were simply captivating. The heroine,Claire Elise Laurent, is portrayed with a mixture of grace, sympathy, vulnerability, - let's see how many adjectives I can insert here- and a resilient spirit. Very early on, the story suggests that she is seeking *something*, a meaning to her life beyond her present circumstances, and I found myself silently urging her on to find that Truth.
I appreciated that every character had their own story, but all contributed to the main plot. The author gave us little bits here and there to give the reader an understanding of the motives of those characters, and why they behaved as they did. For me, it was that aspect that gave me a sympathy for even some of the more cantankerous characters.
This was true in the portrayal of Adelicia Acklen, the privileged Lady of Belmont Manor,who is not the harsh and abrupt woman that she initially seems to be. In fact, it is soon apparent that she is a caring woman of faith who has known a good deal of pain in her life, and yet has come through it stronger.
My review would not be complete without including the romance between Claire Elise and Sutton. The tension was just perfect between the two, with enough suspense to wonder if they would indeed end up together. Do they or don't they? I suppose you'll just have to read the novel for yourself and find out.
This would be a good place for me to add that I think this would make a lovely first book in a series...
I only have one complaint as it relates to the book. I didn't want it to end! For me, A Lasting Impression was a sweet indulgence, and I savored every moment, every page. Thank you Tamera Alexander for a wonderful read!
Want to buy the book? Here you go... http://www.amazon.com/Lasting-Impression-Belmont-Mansion-Novel/dp/0764206222/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320769865&sr=1-1
Check out the whole Blog Tour schedule here http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13436980
**I was given a free copy of the book A Lasting Impression by Tamara Alexander in exchange for my honest opinion of it, with no additional compensation.**
Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party from Tamera Alexander!
While Tamera and her book, A Lasting Impression, are traveling across the country virtually
(with a few international stops as well!), she will be hosting a Kindle
Fire Giveaway (11/4 - 11/15) and preparing for a lavish Southern-Style Facebook Party (11/15) (dripping
with hospitality, of course). She will be giving away Southern Food
Baskets, books, and an array of other fabulous freebies! Don't miss a
minute of the fun. Swoon!
Read what the reviewers are saying here.
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A Brand New Kindle Fire (shipped as soon as it releases)
- A copy of A Lasting Impression and 3 other special books Tamera wants you to have (for Kindle)
with an author chat and giving away Southern Food Baskets (Loveless
Cafe Food Baskets, books, Amazon & Starbucks gift certificates, and
copies of Christy Jordan's Southern Plate cookbook), six gift certificates to Starbucks and Amazon.com, and copies of A Lasting Impression! So grab your copy of A Lasting Impression (it's
okay if you don't have one yet- you might win one!) and join Tamera on
the evening of November 15th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How
much do you know about the 1860's?) and lots of Southern-inspired
giveaways (complete listing here).