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.
I read about half of this book and thought it was just kind of 'meh'. Around midway through I decided I must have been in a reading transition fog or something. From that point all the way to the end I thought it was a great read.
The Vespertine mixes the paranoid propriety of the 1900s with these little stolen moments between Amelia and Nathaniel. They had an immediate connection, and Amelia risks her reputation just to be near him. I thought it was great how small things like having Nathaniel touch her neck without his gloves *gasp* or stare with such longing at her lips made me hungry to keep reading. Their electric encounters are part of what kept me reading in the first place and I felt it just got better as the book progressed. And the last page just about killed me! I can't wait to read the next book in this series!
As far as writing technique and style, this author had a cool, kind of off-beat way of describing things that I really liked. Plus, she really had the etiquette and speech patterns of the era down pat. It felt like reading the dialogue in a classic novel rather than a modern day book set in that time period.
This one is definitely worth checking out.
Publication Date: March 7, 2011
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Source: My public library