Monday, January 3, 2011

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for allowing me to read and review The Vespertine!

The stars could have burned out around us, the moon could have fallen from the sky, and I wouldn't have known it. Not when he leaned indecently close and pressed his cheek against mine to murmur: “Tell me a secret”.

Amelia van den Broek has a secret: every evening, when the sun sets, she has visions of the future.

It is the 1889 and Amelia has been sent to Baltimore by her brother to find herself a decent husband. So during a dinner party, Amelia meets Nathaniel, an artist who is a fourteenth, a person that is hired to round out the numbers because the number 13 is bad luck. Even though Nathaniel would never be a suitable husband, Amelia can’t stay away from him, but Nathaniel hides dark secrets of his own…

When the sun sets that evening, Amelia experiences her first vision and is pleasantly surprised when it comes true. Soon both friends and strangers call on Amelia in hopes that they will have their future predicted. But Amelia can’t choose which visions she sees, whether good or bad.

So when one of Amelia’s worst visions come true, many of her callers begin to wonder if she is not only the mystic but also the cause…

The Vespertine is an amazing book; it is both haunting and very emotional. At first when I started reading the book I found it confusing, not sure where the story began and ended. I recommend to those that read this book to pay attention to the dates at the beginning of each new section of the story. They will come in handy and you’ll realise how the story is put together. I loved the relationship between Nathaniel and Amelia, and although their relationship is forbidden by society, they don’t care what society thinks of them. Towards the end of the book, when there was only 10 or so pages left, I wondered how the story would end and worried that the ending would not be sufficient, but no, I loved the ending… and I’m sure that many of you will too! I cannot wait for the sequel! Springsweet will be out in 2012.

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