I enjoy Christian fiction, and most novels that I read are by Christian authors (I am open to reading fiction by any author, but I prefer books without bad language and/or intimate scenes, and they are more and more difficult to find). Occasionally, I feel that I am in a reading rut, and the books that I am reading are too much alike. Thankfully, there are books like A Lasting Impression. From the moment I started this novel, I couldn’t put it down. Between reading this novel and the time change, my sleep schedule was thrown for a loop! I enjoyed every page, and I was sad to see the story end.
Claire Laurent is a young, talented artist. Unfortunately, her father forces her to work as a forger to support their family. After a break-in that leaves her father injured, Claire flees from New Orleans to Nashville. She finds herself in a strange city with no one to turn to for support. After spending the night in a church, Claire learns of an opportunity to work for Adelicia Acklen, one of Nashville’s wealthiest women. With the help of the local minister and his wife, Claire is hired as Mrs. Acklen’s personal liasion. Even though Mrs. Acklen is willing to offer Claire new opportunities, her other employees are not happy about Claire’s new role. They love Mrs. Acklen and are determined to protect her and her wealth, which happens to include a vast art collection. Mrs. Acklen’s attorney, Sutton Monroe, is particularly worried about Claire’s presence, and he vows to look into her background. Claire works to prove herself a worthy and devoted employee, while also hiding the secrets from her past.
The storyline of this novel is fast-paced and captivating. The characters are believable and well-developed. The setting, post-Civil War Nashville, is depicted with great detail (I live in the Nashville area, so I especially appreciated the historical accuracy). Although the main characters are fictional, Adelicia Acklen did live in Nashville, and her home, the Belmont Mansion, is preserved on the campus of Belmont University. While I have seen the exterior of the mansion, I can’t wait to tour it so I can learn more about Adelicia Acklen and explore the setting of the novel (I need to see if it matches the images in my mind!). Tamera Alexander has written a beautiful, compelling story, and I highly recommend it. I eagerly await the second book in the Belmont Mansion series!
Tamera is celebrating the release of A Lasting Impression with a Facebook party and a Kindle Fire giveaway. Be sure to click on the image below for more details.
Lauren is a wife, mother of two, and an avid reader. She thanks Litfuse Publishing and Bethany House for the review copy of this book. Lauren blogs at Baseballs and Bows.