Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Lasting Impresssion By Tamera Alexander Book Review

// A    L a s t i n g    I m p r e s s i o n //

B y   T a m e r a   A l e x a n d e r

R e v i e w s    B y    B e t h a n y   &    M a d i
Title: A Lasting Impression
Author: Tamera Alexander
Madi's Source: Purchased From Amazon
Bethany's Source: Library 
Number Of Pages: 430
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0622-1
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2011
Madi's Rating: 5 Out Of 5 Stars
Bethany's Rating: 5 Out Of 5 Stars

Description (Taken From Goodreads):

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 from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.

The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong 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 Mrs. 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.
// B e t h a n y ' s    R e v i e w //

I give A Lasting Impression 5 stars, and really, really enjoyed it!

Pros ::
It's been a while since I read a book that left such an impact on my heart. This book, though VERY long {400+ pages}, was very entertaining and despite my expectations of it being boring at bits due to the length of the book, it wasn't! Usually when I least expected it, a burst of new action came. I loved how Tamara incorporated Christianity into the female character, Claire's life. At the beginning of the book Claire is involved in an occupation that was illegal and later held many secrets and occasionally told lies. However, despite the negative life Claire lives at the beginning, towards the end Claire is truly repentant and was a new woman through her finding Christ in the story. It was a wonderful story of the difference Christ can make in a woman's life when she goes from a sinner to a sinner saved by Grace. The story reminded me of the verse in the Bible which talks about being a new creature in Christ, how the old had past and all things are made new. I really enjoyed seeing that transformation in Claire. At the end of the book I was left thinking "Wow!" The story line was very well written and the plot was perfect with a wonderful ending!

Cons ::
Unfortunately this book has a few things I was disappointed with. There was a lot of lying and deceit at the beginning of the book on Claire's part. Another thing was I found the romance level to be a bit more than I'm normally comfortable with, and there were several passionate kissing scenes that I felt like skipping. The biggest thing I found offensive is towards the end of the book, Claire goes wading in the creek, with a immodest amount of clothing on, and Sutton, the male character "walks in" on her without realizing she was dressed in only her undergarments. It never went any farther than this, but I felt it could have been left out, that it wasn't necessary. Due to the cons listed above, I'd only recommend this book for girls 13+.

// M a d i ' s    R e v i e w  //

Okay, I'll admit that the first time I picked up this book, I was a little worried. It's SO long! Most of the time books this long tend to get a bit dry and boring in places. Not "A Lasting Impression"! This book kept me interested from beginning to end. It is a truly wonderful book. This is actually the second time I have read it. The first time I rented it from the library, and the second time I bought a paperback version online so I could grace my own bookshelf with it just in case I wanted to read it yet again (I'm a bit of a book hoarder). I usually don't buy books that I have already read, just because I would rather buy something that I still haven't been able to read but want to, but this and "Jenna's Cowboy" are my exceptions. "A Lasting Impression" lives up to it's title, and truly leaves a lasting impression (see what I did there?). The characters are so real. In a lot of books the characters are made to fit the plot, which a lot of times makes them seem very unrealistic. Though I feel that this book has the perfect "cast", the author made them easy to relate to and easier to believe. I really can't stand it when a book character is just so . . . perfect. Perfect upbringing, perfect appearance, perfect friends, perfect life, save one minor problem. Though this book has a happy ending, it still has a certain genuine quality about it. I think that is largely due to it's length. The author really took time to depict what each character was thinking or feeling, and she described the venue so well that I felt that I was walking down the halls of the Belmont Mansion. Now when I say that, I don't mean that she put in so much detail that it distracts you from the story (please, Shakespeare did enough of that to last us a while), but she did make sure the reader had a good grasp on what was going on and where it was happening, without boring us to tears. It's a fine line, and I think Tamera Alexander did a good job not being too extreme about it.


-My second favorite character was Mrs Acklen (but no one can trump Mr Sutton in this tale). She was as sweet as could be, and had a good, giving heart. But she wasn't about to take any lip from anyone. She kinda reminds me of my gramma in a way.
-Claire was a sweet girl, and made a good lead role, but she still wasn't my favorite. She was trying to change her life and do what's right, but at the same time she didn't want anyone to know about her unlawful past.
-Sutton. Yeahhhh boy. The perfect gentleman. Not really. But he was adorable (at least he was in my head).

Claire and Sutton get off to a rough start, but, of course, they end up together (SPOILER ALERT). She loves him all though he's penniless, and he loves her even though she was a little dishonest. They were the perfect fit. Neither of them were perfect, but they made the perfect couple. I really wish there was a sequel to "A Lasting Impression". I would buy it in a heart beat. Wouldn't give it a second thought. Wouldn't bat an eyelash. You get the picture. There was one con though. There were a few too many romantic scenes. Nothing too terribly inappropriate, but I would check out reviews and/or read it for yourself before you decide on letting a child or little sibling read it. Some people would say that it wasn't that bad, some people would say that they don't want their teen daughter reading about that sort of thing and filling her mind with it. It's kind of a iffy thing. Once again though, it didn't hint at anything inappropriate, and it didn't describe anything that would be frowned upon, but there were quite a few kissing scenes. The choice is yours, it's totally a matter of opinion. Overall though, this is one of the best books that I have on my shelves (and as I mentioned earlier, I have quite a few).I hope that you will take the time to read this book, and/or some more of this authors book. I've read a few of her other books and I really enjoyed them.

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