The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen [Review]

Ever since I saw the title of Julie Klassen's Regency novel, The Painter's Daughter, I've been anxiously waiting for its release! I am The Artist Librarian, after all ...  

Title: The Painter's Daughter
Author: Julie Klassen
Published: 2015 by Bethany House Publishers

About the Book:
Sophie Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. In private, she paints the picturesque north Devon coast, popular with artists--including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in Sophie than the landscape.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother Wesley's responsibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and left his host's daughter in serious trouble.

Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protective of the young lady, who somehow seems familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own past failings as well as his brother's, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage "in name only" to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her first love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the captain and pray she doesn't come to regret it?

The Artist Librarian Review:
Julie Klassen is one of my favorite authors writing Regency fiction today.  Klassen's latest novel, The Painter's Daughter, is a story of the two very different Overstreet brothers and the young woman torn between them.  A marriage of convenience, and a love triangle of sorts, tinged with sibling rivalry, sets this story (Klassen's 10th published novel) apart from her previous work.

One of the most enjoyable parts for me was the art aspect.  Having an art background myself, I loved seeing little details I recall learning from my art history courses and studio classes come to life on the pages of Klassen's novels.  From the role of women in the art world to the reputation of art models or the creation of paint or stretching canvas, I don't recall anything off or out of place.  Klassen gives enough details that you can get a picture of the scenes without getting mired with minutiae.  Sophie, the protagonist and titular painter's daughter, has a believable, historically accurate role as a background painter and assistant to her father.

This novel felt like it was a bit higher on the drama than some of Klassen's previous works --there are a couple of climaxes and plot twists that almost felt like they were from a Julie Lessman novel.  I still haven't decided how I feel about those, but they did keep me turning pages late into the night, so I guess that's a good thing!  I didn't feel like the romance was any more intense than her previous books, but maybe a couple more innuendos if anything (it is a marriage of convenience story).  I think Klassen fans and Regency romance lovers will definitely want to give this uniquely set story a look.

[Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.]

About the Author:
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won 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 Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards and ACFW's Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit
Do you know of any art-themed or "art in fiction" titles you'd suggest?  Do you enjoy Regency novels?  Let's talk!
The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen [Review] The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen [Review] Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 1/31/2016 11:53:00 PM Rating: 5


  1. I LOVE Julie Klassen! She is one of my absolute faves. I'm a little behind on her novels right now. I haven't had a chance to read this one or Lady Maybe, but they are definitely at the top of my TBR list.

    What's your favorite Klassen book? Mine is The Secret of Pembrooke Park. The Silent Governess is a close second.

  2. Ah, sorry I missed your comment! I still have to read Lady Maybe as well!

    I think the Apothecary's Daughter is one of my faves of hers, it's one that's stuck in my mind, if only because it was one of the first of her books that I read. =)


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