Review of The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.
When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.


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When I first started reading The Vespertine, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. As I haven't read anything else from the Author or heard anything about her, I figured the story would either be brilliant or completely rubbish. I wasn’t disappointed. The story starts off dark and angry, while the Gothic writing draws you in and makes you read more.  The scenes are very vivid and easy to imagine, which draws you into the story even more. The beginning was confusing for me as I wasn't quite sure what was happening but after reading more of the book I re-read the first chapter and everything made much more sense.

My favourite character in the novel is Zora, she’s very smart and daring and Amelia needs a streetwise companion. One description of her particularly amused me: 'Zora spun and tossed herself onto the bed so completely that she'd need help back up... be left to roll back and forth on the duvet like upturned turtle'.
After all of the suspense leading up to what happens to ruin Amelia I found the actual ending a little disappointing. One of those moments where you go ‘Oh... was that it?’ The story finishes off with a nice ending though.

4/5 

Received free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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