It’s the summer of 1913 and Cora Kensington’s life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. Not only are the crops failing, but someone dear to Cora is failing as well.
In one fateful afternoon, a stranger comes to call, and Cora discovers a terrible secret about her past…a secret that will radically change her future.
Cora is invited to take the “Grand Tour” of Europe, a journey intended to finish a person’s eduction, to solidify an understanding of ancient culture and contemporary refinement. As she travels from England to France, with kin she’s never known, Cora encounters the blessings of a family name, as well as the curses. But when an unbidden love begins to form, she realizes the journey is only beginning… -Goodreads Blurb
*May Contain Spoilers*
Lisa T. Bergren explores the idea of discovering one's identity in her novel, Glamorous Illusions. The main character, Cora, is a farm raised girl who doesn't mind getting her hands dirty. A character who is very easy to like. The connection that Bergren creates between Cora and the reader is one of strength, built with hope and faith for Cora's future.
Bergren does a great job in showing Cora's personality and determination, which will allow readers to immediately respect Cora. Especially when she faces the hardships of discovering her birth right.
The plot, I must say, is what intrigued me the least. It was a slow moving story line. A train chugging along with only enough coal to barely keep it going. At times, the plot seemed to speed up a little causing me to read faster, but, sadly it only fell further behind.
I'm determined to look into the series that this novel is a part of to see if Cora's story continues. It disappointed me that the novel ends in the middle of their trip, perhaps actually closer to the beginning. I was hoping that the entire tour of Europe would be included in the book, but it was not.
I also felt a little cheated at the end. Don't get me wrong, I was proud of Cora for stepping into the shoes she was forced to don. But what about Pierre and Will? These two completely different gentlemen were the main men who were pursuing Cora. However, at the end, Bergren gives no hint as to what will transpire between Cora and either one of them.
Hopefully, the series will continue with Cora's journey so that all readers will be able to know the full story of our dear Miss Diehl Kensington.
rating: 3/5 cups