Book Review: The Painter’s Daughter

Book Quick Facts

Title: The Painter’s Daughter
Author: Julie Klassen
Rating: ★★★★


Sophie feels sure that handsome, wealthy, Wesley Overtree will marry her when she tells him about their child. Yet, she never gets the chance to speak those words and watch as joy and love fill his eyes. Instead, she finds his artist cottage empty and a goodbye note scrawled at the last moment before his hasty departure for Italy.

The weight of conceiving a child out of wedlock in Regency England presses down on her mind as she tries to throw that goodbye note over the cliff into the ocean. The heartbreak of losing Wesley, her future as a fallen women in society, and her child’s future of illegitimacy surrounds her, and traps her, as she does so.

And, just for a moment, she thinks about jumping over that cliff too.

But to her surprise, it’s at that moment Wesley’s brother appears—the brother he always told her was dangerous, disapproving and cold. Wesley calls him “Captain Black.” His military friends call him Captain Stephen Overtree.

He’s the last person she would have expected to come to her rescue. Still, he’s the one there. He’s the one offering to help in a way she could never have imagined.

He offers to marry her.

Sophia Dupont’s decision to accept the proposal of this mysterious man she does not know at all sets the plot line of The Painter’s Daughter into motion. Could she love come to love this man who has made such a large sacrifice to protect her and her child? Can she let go of her feelings for his brother Wesley? Will his family accept the daughter-in-law they never saw coming?

Could she love come to love this man who has made such a large sacrifice?

I fell in love with the characters of The Painter’s Daughter. I could relate to Sophia’s insecurities about her looks and talent. Stephen’s principled decisiveness endeared him to me almost as much as his sweetness and caring. The secondary characters filled the story with subplots that spiced up the story with just a bit of mystery. I loved seeing one of the secondary character’s personal growth and attempts to become a better man.

The story pulled me along, leaving me always wondering what would happen next. Which brother will she ultimately choose? Klassen has a wonderful ability to weave engaging romances while keeping them classy and clean. I was quickly rooting for one of the brothers over the other and literally exclaimed out loud when things took a turn for the opposing team. (Yes, I’m a terrible character shipper.) I did feel like the characters fell in love in a slightly unbelievably quick manner. But I also could see that the unusual circumstances that threw them together created a premature bond off of which they could build.

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In The Painter’s Daughter, Julie Klassen creates a world that feels warm, despite its setting on the craggy shores of England. I love the manners, the dancing, and the spirit of the Regency Era. Klassen’s novels feel like an extension of Jane Austen’s world. She does a wonderful job creating time period realistic characters that modern people can also relate to.

Klassen’s novels feel like an extension of Jane Austen’s world.

This is the second Julie Klassen novel I’ve read. I felt delighted to find it so different. The Secret of Pembrooke Park combined mystery and economic loss with Regency manners and romance. The Painter’s Daughter looked at selfless love versus selfishness, charm versus depth of character. Of course, it too had regency manners and romance, developing a world that any Jane Austen lover would easily wrap themselves in like a warm blanket.

Recommendation: If you love the Regency era and sweet and clean romance, then I would definitely recommend Julie Klassen’s The Painter’s Daughter.


The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen Book Review. The Painter's Daughter has regency manners and romance that develops a world that any Jane Austen lover would easily wrap themselves in like a warm blanket.

Ellie Dashwood

Hi! I'm Ellie Dashwood. Blogger. Youtuber. Classic literature lover. Illustrator of beautiful things. Thank you so much for visiting my blog!

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Hi! My name is Ellie Dashwood and I am an artist, illustrator and photographer who lives in beautiful Southern Utah.Welcome to my blog where I post about art, life and literature!

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