Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Publisher: David C Cook
“The question isn’t how society defines you, nor how I define you, but rather how God defines you, and in turn, how you yourself want to be defined,” are words written in a letter to Cora in Lisa T. Bergren’s The Grand Tour Series novel, Glamorous Illusions.
At four hundred and two pages, this paperback book is the first in the series set in the early nineteen hundreds about a woman coming of age. With no profanity, mild romantic physical contact and some violence, the historical fiction is targeted toward Christian women. At the end of the book is a chat with the author, discussion questions and historical notes.
Twenty year old Cora Diehl Kensington has been away at Normal College in Montana for two years working on her teaching credential. When she returns home for the summer to her parents’ poor farm, she immediately has to deal with her father having a stroke. Although her mother and she nurse him back to health, taking care of the daily chores is too much for the struggling family.
Weeks later, a distinguished older gentleman visits the barely producing farm, divulging a horrible secret to the unassuming young woman that will alter her mother, father and her lives forever. Frustrated, angry and feeling a loss of belonging, Cora’s life is instantly changed without her approval or willingness.
When told it is in her best interest, she agrees to go on a Grand Tour of Europe, traveling with no one she knows through London, Paris, and on to Provence, to supposedly enjoy the sights, history and art.
Guided by a “bear” and his nephew via steam boats, sailing ships and carriages, she visits the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and museums, while constantly praying for God to show her how to be herself in spite of her new circumstances. Staying at a British palace and a French chateau, she feels like an interloper as she questions adapting to the finer things of life in a world of opulence, wealth and snobbery.
It is not until two men of opposite means vie for her attention that she realizes she must be true to herself to find friendship, meaningful relationships and her own way to become the woman God wants her to be.
Bergren does an excellent job developing endearing characters while being a travel guide to England and France in the early twentieth century. No doubt readers will easily anticipate the next book in the series to find out how Cora will adapt to her new-found lifestyle.
This book was furnished by the publicist for review purposes.
Follow Here To Purchase Glamorous Illusions: A Novel (Grand Tour Series)