My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Cora Diehl takes the train home from Normal School in Dillon Montana expecting to spend the summer on the farm with her parents. But why aren’t they there to meet the train? The sight of her distraught mother beside her father’s collapsed form on the barn floor catapults her into a summer like no other in Lisa T. Bergren’s historical (1913) Cinderella tale Glamorous Illusions.
Cora discovers she is not who she always thought she was, Soon she finds herself in the middle of copper baron’ Wallace Kensington’s family carrying the burden of a scandalous beginning and trying to fit in with his spoiled and shallow offspring on a social and educational Grand Tour of England and the continent.
Will McCabe, nephew and assistant to the tour’s chaperone Stuart McCabe falls for Cora on sight—as do most of the males who come into her orbit. Innocent Cora feels the chemistry with Will but she also welcomes the overtures of the rich and dashing Pierre de Richelieu. Both Cora and Will profess a Christian faith and both find in it an anchor through this tempestuous summer.
I found the plot’s premise fascinating but Bergren’s treatment left me feeling a little let down. Though Cora comes to some key realizations about herself by the end of the book, the romance story line left me disappointed and liking Cora less at the end of the book than the beginning. The way she changes under the pressures of wealth and status make me wonder if she’ll end up almost as shallow as her half-sisters.
A set of discussion questions at the book’s end will be helpful for book club readers.
This book is part of my own Kindle collection.