I received this e-book from David C. Cook Publishers through Netgalley.com for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this e-book. The opinions expressed here are my own.
The first book in the Grand Tour series, Glamorous Illusions will take readers on a pilgrimage through Europe-and straight into the soul.
It's the summer of 1913 and Cora Kensington's life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. The crops are failing and worse, so is her father's health. Then a stranger comes to call and in one fateful afternoon, Cora discovers that her birth father is a copper king-a man who invites her to tour Europe with her new family. As she travels across America, then on to England and France, Cora faces the hardships as well as the privileges of assuming the family name. And though now she knows more of her true identity, she soon discovers the journey is only beginning.
Glamorous Illusions is the first book in the Grand Tour Series by Lisa T. Bergen. As a newer reader of Lisa T. Bergen's books I was excited to have the opportunity to read her latest release. Glamorous Illusions takes place in The Summer of 1913 starting in Montana and then into Europe. Cora Diehl makes her way home for the summer from teacher college, her parents aren't there to pick her up at the train station so a neighbor brings her home. As she come home her father has had a heart attack and they do not know if he will make it through the night. As the days go on her father seems to get better but the family is in danger of losing their farm. On Cora's sixteenth birthday she received a very fancy necklace from an unknown sender so she takes that to the local store to sell it to pay off debt and get seed to plant. Soon after her father has another heart attack which leaves him in even worse shape. As Cora is working in the fields, two strange men come to their door, men who her mother seems to know and invites in. Cora finds out that the father that raised her for twenty years isn't really her birth father, her birth father is the Copper King of Montana. Cora Diehl becomes Cora Kensington in one afternoon and is ultimately forced to go with this man to his home and from there go on a European Tour with her three half siblings and three other people from another prominent family. As Cora makes this trip she has to figure out who she is and who she will be.
I enjoyed this book very much. The storyline is unique and kept me engaged from start to finish. The characters are complex and enjoyable. They are deeper than they first appear and as the story goes on you see other sides of them. Lisa T. Bergen writes with authority about Montana, workers rights and conditions in 1913, travel available in 1913, Europe in 1913, and also how the wealthy at this time lived. I truly felt I was there with Cora traveling from Montana on a train, heading to England on a ship that was the next ship after Titanic, and on to France. The descriptions Lisa T. Bergen gives her readers really made me feel like I was seeing the art, castles, and parties for myself. This story has a little bit of everything in it: romance, mystery, intrigue, and faith. Through out this story Lisa T. Bergen gives her readers a deep look at Cora's faith and her struggle with faith as her life gets turned upside down but finds that her faith is what grounds her in all of these changes. The only thing that I didn't care for was the ending, in my opinion it ended abruptly, I was kind of shocked at where it ended. On a scale of * to ***** I give this book ****. I look forward to reading more from Lisa T. Bergen and more of her Grand Tour Series.