Sophie Dupont has found herself in a great predicament. She assists her father at his art studio in Devon, and there meets the handsome artist Wesley Overtree, the heir to the Overtree estate. When Wesley abruptly leaves to paint in Italy, he leaves without knowing that Sophie carries his unborn child. As an unmarried woman in the Regency period, there are not many options for Sophie. When Wesley’s younger brother, Captain Stephen Overtree comes searching for him and learns of Sophie’s predicament, he does the honorable thing and offers to marry Sophie. Will this marriage of convenience lead to love between Stephen and Sophie? Will Wesley return? What will both families think of this romance?
I love Julie Klassen’s novels. The Painter’s Daughter is set during one of my favorite time periods, the Regency period. It also has many references to characters reading Sense and Sensibility and other remembrances of Jane Austen. It also has the threat of Napoleon on the horizon and has a riveting battle sequence with Captain Overtree in the infantry. This is one of the best battle sequences I’ve ever read. Klassen writes wonderful characters with three-dimensional personalities and actions that are believable. The plot was very engaging and surprised me at the end. I also thought it was a fascinating look into what a marriage of convenience would be like. I also love that while it is a romance, it is a chaste romance with plenty of passionate feelings, but no vivid descriptions of actions. The Painter’s Daughter is also a Christian romance and Captain Overtree in particular uses prayer and faith to guide his actions.
The Painter’s Daughter contains a great author’s note that explains how the book was written. Discussion questions are also included that could be used by a book club or just for your own remembrances of the novel.
My favorite quotes:
This quote is about a small portrait of Sophie that Stephen had rescued from the garbage, but this quote could be construed to be about Sophie as well.
“His brother had discarded it, after all. But Stephen had saved it from the flames.”
In this passage before battle, a soldier is asking Stephen how he’ll know that he’s right with God. This is Stephen’s reply.
“I am not a good man, not by any measure,” Stephen replied. “And thank God I don’t have to rely on my own merit. I’d never be good enough to deserve to live forever with a holy God. But Christ is, and He already died to cover my sins. He sacrificed His earthly life for my eternal one. And for yours, and for everyone willing to accept Him.”
This quote is great advice for newlyweds everywhere.
“This is real life, Master Stephen. Happily ever after takes effort. But you two will triumph. I believe it with all my heart.”
Overall, The Painter’s Daughter is a riveting Regency Christian Romance. It has many elements of my favorite writers including Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and even some of the mystery of Daphne Du Maurier or Victoria Holt. I highly recommend this novel!
Book Source: Review Copy from Bethany House. Thank-you!