Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Vespertine Review

Title: The Vespertine

Author: Saundra Mitchell

Date of Publication: March 20, 2012

Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-Book

Synopsis: The year is 1889 and seventeen year old Amelia van den Broek, from rural Maine, is spending the summer with her fashionable cousin Zora in Baltimore in hopes of finding a husband. While in Baltimore Amelia starts to see visions of the future, soon word of her visions spread to even the most popular circles in Baltimore and Amelia is being called "Maine's Own Mystic". From stolen kisses on balconies at balls with attractive Nathaniel Witherspoon, a man most certainly out of her leauge, and giving seances at sunset Amelia begins to love Maryland. However her visions have a price, a price that may destroy all that she holds dear.

My Review:

I'm afraid that the only positive thing I have to say about this novel is that it was beautifully written. From the flowing descriptions of Baltimore to the vivid imagery of Amelia's visions the writing was fantastic. However the rest of the novel fell flat in all regards; full of random pointless events, no plot, and two dimensional characters I found myself disliking The Vespertine more and more with each passing chapter.

The book possessed no plot; Amelia has her visions, she suddenly is in love with Nathaniel, they kiss in secret, and she goes to balls. Throughout the entire novel I found myself asking "So what?". There is no purpose to the novel, Amelia does not grow as a character, she does not come to an understanding about herself or others, she is exactly the same at the end of the novel as she is at the beginning.

There is no rhyme nor reason to the characters actions, for the majority of the novel I was confused as to their motives. There was never an explanation as to why Amelia had visions or any conflict as she told the future of her friends and family. The ending was predictable and unsatisfying, leaving unanswered questions and unresolved conflicts.

The beautiful writing does not make up for all the faults in this novel, I was extremely disappointed. Despite the short length I found finishing this book a struggle as I became more and more frustrated with the characters and the plot. This is one of the few novels I would not recommend to anybody under any circumstances.


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