About the Book
Claire Laurent’s greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she’s forced to flee her home, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe, who shows her kindness by not turning her in to authorities. But when he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she’s sorely misjudged him. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville society, Claire believes her dream of creating a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach—but only if her past remains hidden.
The Federal Army destroyed Sutton’s home, confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family’s honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined—as well as the woman he loves.
Set at Nashville’s historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves—and each other—for who they really are.
For a book that is steeped in the world and appreciation of fine art, it is only fitting that Tamera Alexander’s telling of A Lasting Impression is a visual masterpiece of words. The front hints at the opulent world contained between the covers, but do not sell it short as being so obvious. This is not just a story of a lavish manor and its inhabitants, but also about lives torn apart after the Civil War, the hardship of Reconstruction, and the identity crisis of a new era.
The characters soared off the page and imbedded themselves into my imagination where they lived out the the incredibly rich story that Tamera created. The emotional range of Claire, Adelicia, and Sutton’s journey is complex and, like every great piece of art, pulls you deeper into the landscape as you discover each intricate nuance, shadow and ray of light. It would be so easy to stay on the surface and write a satisfying book about soirees, society, romance, and drama; Tamara refuses to merely scratch the surface, opting instead to break through all pretence to show the true nature of her characters and the truth behind their circumstances.
Claire’s faith journey is particularly touching. Her delicate and fragile acquaintance with God slowly blossoms into an authentic desire live in His will and love. I love that she doesn’t have an “AHA!” conversion moment where everything is suddenly perfect and apparent. In real life sometimes it takes time to converse with God, voice your fears and concerns and make a few mistakes along the way before you come to embrace the wonderful plans and future He has for you.
My one qualm is that it ended too soon. Without giving anything away, I wish that the conclusion had been flushed out a little more since the rest of the novel is so detail oriented and had such smooth pacing.
This read is not to be missed!
**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**