Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren
Summary: Set in the 1900s, farm girl from Montana, Cora Deihl comes home from a term at teacher college and finds herself thrust into a new life. As secrets about her past are revealed, she leaves the farm where she and her family have always struggled to get by and goes on the Grand Tour to Europe with siblings she never knew she had. The Grand Tour becomes one of self-discovery as Cora learns struggles to make sense of the changes in her life.
In the beginning of the read, I had very high hopes for this one. The dramatic way in which Cora learns of her new family was interesting. Cora herself was a very appealing heroine with spunk and determination. She was a very likable character. The point of view change from one character to another contributed to the appeal of the tale. (Even though I usually hate those point of view changes in a story.) I liked the introduction of the hero of our story, Will. He was also a likable character, the lower class struggling to go to college and make a life for himself. The time period in the story also made for an interesting read. There is much in the story about the lifestyle of the lower class and the wealthy in the 1900s. The characters sail on the famous Olympic, the White Star Line's ship that followed the ill-fated Titanic from the previous year. The Grand Tour itself is a very unique experience to read about. The story is rich in historical information.
Unfortunately, my interest waned as I read. I like some self-reflection on the part of the main characters, but in Glamorous Illusions, there is constant self-reflection which made me feel as if there was just too much drama and angst. Sometimes I just found myself wanting them to do something, not just reflect! I thought there were places where the story dragged. And then, the book wasn't complete. I knew the book was the first in a series, but there really was no end. There was a major dramatic happening at the end, and then the book just ended abruptly. I really don't like that in a story. I know it is supposed to serve to leave the reader wanting more, but I just want some kind of closure- even if I know there is more to come.
I just can't give this one any higher than a 3.5 stars. I would probably rate it a PG. There are a few places of intense conversations and references to infidelity that would caution me when determining who could read the book.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are entirely my own.