Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, 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.
When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

I'm a big fan of Saundra Mitchell. Just like in Shadowed Summer, The Vespertine is rich in setting and details. Amelia is a great character with interesting strengths and flaws, and I really enjoyed reading about her and Zora. Also, the romance aspect was well done, even though it was quicker than I usually like.

The historical details are amazing. Mitchell nailed the setting in Shadowed Summer, and she did it again here. I felt like I'd been transported there--a fly on the wall, privy to Amelia's and Zora's private lives.

I do wish we had more story before the ending. I was so enthralled with the characters and all set to go on one heck of a roller coaster ride with them. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop regarding Amelia's ability, but it never did. I wanted to feel terror and fear and grief with her on a deeper level, watch everyone turn against her, and be torn between fleeing and staying to be with Nathaniel.

Still, I very much enjoyed this story, and look forward to more of Mitchell's works.


Christina Farley said...

This does sound wonderful. I love stories set in historical places.

Tabitha said...

I love Saundra Mitchell. I can't wait to read more of her books. :)

S (Book Purring) said...

I adored The Vespertine! I am very picky when it comes to historical fiction in YA, sometimes authors make it too contemporary, whether is the characters or dialogue, but this wasn't the case.

I will try to get my hands on Saundra's other book :)