Grace's Reviews > A Lasting Impression

A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander
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's review
Dec 14, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, fiction, read-in-2012

This review originally appeared on Feeding My Book Addiction

Tamera Alexander blends real life with romantic fiction in A Lasting Impression. This tale of love and heartbreak, deceit and murder, art and class is set at the Belmont Mansion, a real manor home in Nashville, Tennessee. Built in the years before the Civil War, Belmont Mansion survived the war and even prospered, thanks to the toughness and ingenuity of its proprietor, Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, who is a minor character, yet driving force of Alexander's novel.

The author wastes no time getting into the action of the novel. Within the first few pages, readers learn that the protagonist, nineteen year old Claire Laurent, is a lonely young woman forced to paint forgeries of famous paintings for her father's second rate art gallery after her mother's death from tuberculosis. When Claire finishes painting yet another forgery, this one with her mother in the background, Claire's father sends her to the cafe for a treat. When she returns, she finds her father stabbed and bleeding on the gallery floor and all of the artwork gone. Her father's business partner sends her to Nashville with instructions to wait for him and her father there. He gives her a bit of money and an address before sending her away.

Once Claire arrives in Nashville, the pacing slows down considerably. The narrative is moved along by divine providence working in mysterious ways that always seem to propel the story toward a happily after ever. Of course, there's a major obstacle in the way of Claire's happily ever after - her past - and it could cost her everything: her job as Mrs. Acklen's liaison, the man she loves, and her wonderful life surrounded by some of the best artwork ever created. Will Claire lose everything? Will she end up in jail for forging artwork? Or will she live happily ever after?

Anyone who has read at least one romance book in his/her life can figure out which way the book will go without even reading it. But, that doesn't mean it's not worth reading. I enjoyed the story and watching Claire come of age and into her own as a woman and an artist. Even though I considered some scenes hokey and too contrived, too perfect even, I still couldn't put the book down. It's a quintessential lazy afternoon cheese read. I will warn potential readers that this book is a Christian book. I wasn't familiar with the publisher when I picked up the book, nor is it labeled as such, so I had no idea until I started reading. Christian fiction isn't for some people, hence my warning.

Overall, it was a fun book to read. I really enjoyed learning about Belmont Mansion and Mrs. Acklen. I wish the author had dug a little deeper into the Reconstruction era Nashville for the narrative though. I would have enjoyed learning more about it. Again, the book isn't anything surprising or over the top fantastic. For what it is, it hit the mark.

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Reading Progress

December 14, 2011 – Shelved
January 19, 2012 – Started Reading
January 19, 2012 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
January 19, 2012 – Shelved as: fiction
January 19, 2012 –
page 78
January 23, 2012 – Shelved as: read-in-2012
January 23, 2012 – Finished Reading

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