Friday, October 19, 2012

Glamorous Illusions - by Lisa Bergren

Cora Diehl knows who she is: the daughter of a hard-working farmer who has sacrificed so that she might improve her future with an education and teaching certificate.  At least, that's who she's been led to believe she is.  When her father falls ill, and the well-known copper king, Mr. Kensington, comes sweeping in to buy the farm, send her Papa for better health care, and plans to claim her as his own, albeit illegitimate, daughter, her world and everything she knows about herself gets turned upside down.  Her biological father plans to send her on a "Grand Tour" of Europe, with his three known heirs, in the common practice of the day for rich kids to see the world and find out how they fit into it.  Can Cora take this chance to find out she fits into this world she didn't know could be hers?  Will she lose Cora Diehl and become Cora Kensington, or is there another option she can't foresee?

Although this book was set in 1913, for the most part, it felt as if it could be a contemporary novel.  In a good way.  I didn't get lost wading through settings and traditions of the past, but was able to be swept up in Cora's dilemmas and emotions.  The Grand Tour, however, sounds like a fabulous tradition, and I can only wish that that were still common practice, leaving out the spoiled rich heirs and heiresses, of course.

Even though I enjoyed the story and Cora's revelations very much, there was something about it that kept me from loving it.  The abrupt ending was one; even though it is to be the first book in a series, there was no wrap-up whatsoever.  Maybe I wanted the book to be truly about Cora finding herself while seeing that her true identity lies in how God sees her, and less of it to be about the gentlemen pursuing her.  I can understand how she struggled with how her half-siblings related to her, and that was an honest part of her search for self, but it seemed odd that she'd had no love interests in her old life, and now she's suddenly surrounded by suitors.  Regardless, I still give the book 3 stars, and I will look forward to continuing the saga with the next installment.

You can find the author's website HERE. (Her children's books are fantastic, by the way!)
The publisher's site is HERE. (They list an e-book for free every week - join their list to get the notifications!)
You can buy a copy or read an excerpt HERE
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Your reviews are always thought provoking. As a reader, I appreciate the time and thought you put into them.

    1. Thank you, Joanne! I appreciate that you took the time to comment!