Description (from publisher):
'It's the summer of 1913 and Cora Kensington's life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. Not only are the crops failing, but someone dear to Cora is failing as well.
In one fateful afternoon, a stranger comes to call, and Cora discovers a terrible secret about her past. A secret that will radically change her future.
Cora is invited to take the 'Grand Tour' of Europe, a journey intended to finish a person's education, to solidify an understanding of ancient culture and contemporary refinement. As she travels from England to France, with kin she's never known, Cora encounters the blessings of a family name, as well as the curses. But when an unbidden love begins to form, she realizes the journey is only beginning.
The first book in the Grand Tour series will take readers on a journey of cultural refinement, but moreover, explores what truly informs a person's sense of identity.'
When I picked up this book initially, I had no idea that this was considered to be Christian historical fiction. I normally tend to steer clear of books in the Christian genre as some have been considered too 'preachy' to enjoy reading. The reader can definitely tell that this is Christian book, but it wasn't really all that bad. I really enjoyed this one based on the storyline and the characters and found myself immediately sucked into a good story. I read this one in one day and was very hard pressed to put this one down. I found myself staying up late to see what happened next to Cora and her unfamiliar new family members.
This story embodies what I enjoy most about historical fiction: learning about something new! I didn't know much about the 'Grand Tour' and why the wealthy took this trip in their youth. I love how this book travels from the United States, to England and then on to France. I felt like I was on tour with the family as well. The characters are very well developed and Cora is a very likeable character. She is thrown for a loop when she discovers that the life she has been living is all a lie. The father she thought was hers all her life turns out not to be her real father and the real one is rich and wants her to immediately to join her half siblings on their Grand Tour of Europe. Of course, Cora struggles with dealing with a new family and the truth that was kept from her. She is tossed into a world of high society and culture when she is used to working on a simple farm in Montana. It was interesting as a reader to watch Cora struggle with her past and work towards her new future and I admire her resilience.
I encourage historical fiction readers to pick this one up, because it is such a fun read. I am really glad that it is part of a series and will be starting the next one, Grave Consequences, right now. I hope it turns out to be just as good as this one. Please do not let the Christian label turn you off from a good read. I was a little skeptical if I was going to like it at first, but when I found myself passing up sleep to read this one, you know it's a good one. Please note that there are some references to God and the Bible, but that honestly is to be expected with Christian fiction books, however, it is not 'preachy' and I consider it to be tastefully done. A great read all around and I can't wait to get my hands on the next one. If you are intrigued please note that Amazon and Barnes & Noble have their ebook copies for free at the current moment. Make sure you snatch this up before the price changes. I will provide the links to both below.
Overall Rating: 4.5
Title: Glamorous Illusions
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Series: Grand Tour #1
Publisher: David C. Cook
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction
Get It: Amazon; Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.