Today I’m sharing a book review for The Sisters of Sea View, an inspirational Regency Romance novel by Julie Klassen. It is Book 1 of the On Devonshire Shores series.
Disclosure: I voluntarily received a complimentary copy from the author as part of Austenprose PR publicity tours. All views expressed are my own. This post includes Amazon affiliate links.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Sisters of Sea View because while it rightfully belongs in the Regency Romance genre it focuses more on the relationship and challenges of the sisters than on romance. There are actually five sisters (one of whom is missing) but the main plots revolve around Sarah and Viola. I was especially fascinated with Viola’s cleft palate and learning how something like that would have been treated and corrected in that era.
The setting of Devonshire was intriguing as I hadn’t read much about that area of England before. It’s hard to imagine a coastal resort during a time of extreme modesty. I was amused at the description of the “bathing machines” (i.e. little sheds on wheels) where swimmers would change clothes (into “bathing costumes” equally as modest as their everyday attire) and then the whole cart would be hauled into the water so they could timidly dabble their toes in the water, or fully submerge if they were brave enough.
From the Publisher
Some guests have come for a holiday, others for hidden reasons of their own . . .
When their father’s death leaves them impoverished, Sarah Summers and her genteel sisters fear they will be forced to sell the house and separate to earn livelihoods as governesses or companions. Determined to stay together, Sarah convinces them to open their seaside home to guests to make ends meet and provide for their ailing mother. Instead of the elderly invalids they expect to receive, however, they find themselves hosting eligible gentlemen. Sarah is soon torn between a growing attraction to a mysterious Scottish widower and duty to her family.
Viola Summers wears a veil to cover her scar. When forced to choose between helping in her family’s new guest house and earning money to hire a maid to do her share, she chooses the latter. She reluctantly agrees to read to some of Sidmouth’s many invalids, preferring the company of a few elders with failing eyesight to the fashionable guests staying in their home. But when her first client turns out to be a wounded officer in his thirties, Viola soon wishes she had chosen differently. Her new situation exposes her scars–both visible and those hidden deep within–and her cloistered heart will never be the same.
Join the Summers sisters on the Devonshire coast, where they discover the power of friendship, loyalty, love, and new beginnings.
About the Author
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold over a million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.