on June 19, 2013
Bestselling author Tamera Alexander’s newest novel, A Lasting Impression, was released by Bethany House* in the fall of 2011, and is sure to make a ‘lasting impression’ on your heart and imagination. Both humorous and tender, this novel will make you laugh and cry within the span of a few pages! From a historical accuracy standpoint, this incredible story has clearly been researched down to every last detail. In an online interview with Ms. Alexander, she states that the director of the Belmont Mansion today actually read her manuscript before it was published, simply to ensure that all aspects of the mansion were portrayed accurately!
An intriguing aspect of this sweeping story is its remarkable cast of characters, each vividly portrayed and soon ingrained in your imagination. Claire Laurent is a young woman with a regrettable past who is given the chance to alter her future for the better. Sutton Monroe is a beginning attorney whose past is also filled with regrets, but of a different kind. Through an unexpected series of events, Claire and Sutton’s lives intersect at Belmont, a mansion and estate owned by one of the richest women in America at the time, Mrs. Adelica Acklen - an actual person in history, and a vital member of the supporting cast in this story.
Several years before our story begins, Claire was pressured into furthering her family’s business by using her abilities at painting... to forge the works of famous artists. Now a young adult, Claire is forced to make decisions on her own when a sudden crises disrupts her entire world. Soon she finds herself at Belmont Mansion, which turns out to be both the world she’s always dreamed of belonging in, and the worst place in which to keep her previous life a secret. What will happen when Claire’s past finally catches up with her, threatening to tear down everything she’s been working so hard to build?
A Lasting Impression is a story about being authentic. It’s about being yourself, and loving others for being themselves. Throughout the story, Claire struggles with feelings of unworthiness, and constantly feels inadequate for all that she has been blessed with at Belmont. By story’s end, however, Claire finds the courage to see herself, and others, for who they truly are. This story is also about trust, and giving your ambitions to God, letting Him guide you and fuel your dreams for the future. In one of the most touching scenes in the story, Claire hears God’s voice in her heart, asking her if she would use her talent for painting, if she were only painting for Him. Each message is woven seamlessly into the story.
In conclusion, A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander is truly a masterpiece. The writing style was a joy to read, as it was both humorous and touching. The history in this story is extremely interesting, especially because the reader can be assured that it is as accurate as possible. In addition, the characters in this story are lovable and realistic, and quickly become your friends, even though, or perhaps because, they have a good share of faults. One more important element makes this story stand out from others, but is difficult to describe... Somehow the incredible manner in which the entire story comes together really makes you feel as though Ms. Alexander was inspired by God when writing her story. Altogether, this book will leave an inspiring and lasting impression on your heart.
***Note: I received this book free of charge for review purposes, courtesy of Bethany House Publishers and Graf-Martin Communications. I would like to say thank you very much for sending it to me.
on December 28, 2012
I wrote this review a couple of minutes after finishing this book.
The last page has been turned with a content sigh, the book is beside me now, but as I'm writing this, I'm still back at the Belmont mansion where de-lightful characters have gotten the happy ending they oh-so deserved- which in return, thrilled this reader's heart, because before embarking on this journey she had been just desperate to get her hands on one those rare, thoroughly engaging novels.
You know... the one where the only disappointment was that it ended?
A Lasting Impression... Oh, my word, how I enjoyed it! I finished in two days (and it's quite thick!)
Mellifluous, carefully and richly penned, it made me laugh and at times it truly took me by surprise, while the historical details piqued by curiosity and made me want to visit Belmont Mansion!
And these characters! There were so well-developed. Halfway throughout the story, I already had in mind what to say about Adelicia, but arriving toward the end, I realized that I misjudged her. Not to mention that there were other wonderful characters: Claire Elise (love her name! And I truly wanted to hug this woman many times throughout the story), charming Sutton, graceful Eli, lovable Cordina and more.
I believe readers will take delight in watching the main characters grow in strength and beauty, while the plot will keep them turning pages and the love story will warm their hearts. Especially if you are a hopeless romantic. This is no shallow love story, it unfolds throughout the story like a precious blossom.
This one's a keeper.
I can't wait to get my hands on Tamera's latest, To Whisper Her Name. She's hinted that some of the characters in ALI might make an appearance in that story.
Tamera Alexander is a wonderful writer. Reviews have raved her books, awards have testified- and continue to testify to her talent, so if you haven't given one of her books a try, dear reader, well, you just might be missing out on something here....
on January 17, 2012
Tamera Alexander...is my new favorite author! When the demands for life are running high...what a pleasure it is to curl up with one of her books and a hot cup of tea! I had the opportunity to indulge in a little reading time recently and I was not disappointed in the new novel, A Lasting Impression: A Belmont Mansion Novel. The book captured my attention with its descriptive language of the beautiful Belmont mansion, filled with pieces of artwork, the telling of balls and parties, and the relationships of the staff at the mansion. The setting was perfect and the story was told beautifully, after all I am a romantic at heart! I also loved that the main character had the opportunity to plan a few parties. I love to pull off a good party, so the details and descriptions have given me a few ideas for the next few parties I have to plan. I would give this book 5 stars....a must read for a cold winter weekend!
Book has been provided courtesy of Bethany House and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from B&H Publishing Group.
on January 3, 2012
I loved, loved this book! Great storytelling, rich characters (Claire Laurent, Sutton Munroe, Eli, Mrs. Routh) make for an excellent story mostly set in 1867 Nashville. Claire Laurent is the main character and the author, Tamera Alexander, has done an amazing job in character development. Claire's journey to accepting the Lord as her Savior was both realistic and beautifully done. The question I have been asking myself often since reading this book (and one that the main character asks often and has an answer for by the end of the book) is Who am I doing things for? Am I trying to please man or God? The author states at the end of the book 'never underestimate who's looking at your life and at how many people you influence'. The author continues on with 'you and I are leaving lasting impressions. May we live authentic lives of faith that point others to Christ'. Thought provoking to say the least. Adelicia Acklen was a real person who built Belmont Mansion in which the story mainly takes place. The author did a fine job of researching this woman and incorporating her into the story. I am looking forward to reading another book by Tamera Alexander.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
Pick up a copy of A Lasting Impression and you will find yourself transported back in time, to a country trying to recover from war, and a young woman trying to overcome the death of her parents and the shame of misusing her talents to deceive others. Tamera Alexander has written a novel that is sure to please lovers of historical fiction, and has created a unique rags-to-riches story in the character of Claire Laurent and the journey she undertakes from painting forgeries for her father to securing a highly sought-after position at the mansion and falling in love with a true man of God. The characters are deftly developed, and Claire is sure to win your heart and your affection as you follow her story and cheer her on for her determination and pluck.
I aslo greatly enjoyed the fact that Tamera set the story in a real location, Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a detail that helped me appreciate the descriptions of the beautiful grounds and the awe-inspiring interior even more. And most of all, I walk away from this story remembering the importance of being honest and having integrity in every part of our lives, of not presenting a false front, a forgery of ourselves for the world to see. Though Claire never set out to outright deceive, her actions of witholding information when perhaps it should have been disclosed were as harmful as if she'd outright lied. The conclusion is ultimately satisfying, and Clarie's growth in her faith is one sure to inspire.
I highly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimer: Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
on July 12, 2012
After reading several samples of various books, I chose to read this one, and I'm happy I did. Tamera once again doesn't fail to deliver. This was a great read, and I found myself up far to late reading reading reading. I could barely put the book down. *May contain spoilers* Claire, who is an artist, but got her start as a forger, embarks on a journey to become the woman God wants her to be. After a robbery at her fathers art gallery, she is forced to flee. After some unfortuante circumstances, Claire finds herself in the employee of possibly the richest woman in Nashville, but ever frightened that her past is going to come back to haunt her, leaving her jobless, pennyless and not able to find work again in Nashville. A great read, that will have you laughing, crying and sitting on the edge of your seat. Very descriptive, which brings the setting as well as the characters to life.
This is an easy-breezy read of romance with a bit of suspense. It didn't feel as lame as most romance novels which I shy away from like the plague, this one I totally enjoyed. I immediately cheered for the heroine as she tried desperately to escape her difficult circumstances in the very beginning. While there is a touch of Christianity weaved within the story it was not overpowering and I would not call this book a Christian novel. I loved the idea of taking a real stately mansion and creating a story around it and its owners and look forward to more novels set at Belmont Mansion by this author. As soon as I finished the book I immediately looked at the Belmont Mansion web site and was not disappointed, Ms Alexander did it proud. I truly recommend this book - it will leave you with a happy heart and a smile on your face and a great desire to visit the real Belmont Mansion.