Author: Saundra Mitchell
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's
Release Date: March 7, 2011
* Received via NetGalley for review.
Summary from GoodReads: 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.
There are certain books that make me emit a dolphin like "Eeee!" of excitement, and The Vespertine is one such book. Amelia van den Broek goes to Baltimore in the spring in hopes of finding a husband--well, it's not really her idea, it's actually her brother's--and ends up meeting Nathaniel, an artist and thus quite an unsuitable match. However, they have an instant connection and Amelia feels drawn to him. At the same time, Amelia has just begun to catch sight of visions in the light of the setting sun and soon she becomes sought out for her ability which makes her quite popular in town. However, one such vision leads to a death--of whom, I shall not say--and from there, things begin to spiral out of control for dear Miss Amelia.
Zora was by far my favorite minor character--mainly because I loved the interaction between Amelia and Zora almost as much as the interactions between Amelia and Nathaniel. I found her to be full of life, quite fun, and rather like a sister to Amelia. I found The Vespertine to be well written, the writing style to be very fitting for the era, and needless to say I was in love with the imagery--in particular when Amelia has her visions. The Vespertine takes place during two different points in the year: the spring in Baltimore (bulk of the story) and the fall (afterwards) in Oakhaven (her home in Broken Tooth). Without giving anything away, I'll tell you that I loved the ending and I'm really looking forward to its companion novel--The Springsweet--which is due out in Spring 2012. I'd like to also quickly mention that the focus of The Vespertine is upon the romance and not the paranormal although the paranormal factor is indeed there. I'd recommend The Vespertine to those looking for a historical fiction romance with just a touch of the paranormal element.
Overall Rating: ★★★★★