"From Christy and RITA Award-winning author Tamera Alexander comes a novel about the difference between knowing who you are--and knowing who you want to become.
Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.
The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.
Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are."
My Rating: Summer
Tamera Alexander paints vivid and detailed images with her words, and A Lasting Impression is an exquisite showcase of her talent. Although sometimes the specifics of her stories become vague in memory over time, the reader is left with beautiful, emotion-filled impressions that endure. This particular story is quiet grand in scope - a much different setting than her previous novels, set in a luxurious world of art and parties and finery. And yet Alexander shows that no matter the setting - be it the wilds of Colorado or the wilds of the gossip-hungry social elite - suffering is a part of the human condition.
Back story and historical background are woven in throughout the story in an engaging way, making the characters all the more authentic. Alexander explores various impressions and misjudgments throughout the pages, and she keeps the tension going right up to the very end. All of her characters have something to add to the story, and together they make up an oftentimes frustrating, but also wonderful, cast!
From cover to cover this is a gorgeous novel, encouraging the reader to look beyond first impressions and reach out to the hearts of others with forgiveness and compassion. The romance is sweet and yet powerful, and the lessons on truth and a new beginning in Christ are inspiring. This is another Tamera Alexander masterpiece that shines!
*With thanks to Bethany House through CFBA for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
Click HERE to read my original post for the CFBA blog tour, which includes information about the author.