I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.
If you love books by Jane Austen and Jan Karon, you’ll love Julie Klassen’s latest installment in the On Devonshire Shores series!
Why You’ll Love Julie Klassen if You Love Jan Karon
Sidmouth, a small coastal village in Devonshire, England, becomes the Mitford-like scene of Julie Klassen’s newest release, A Winter by the Sea. If you love series where key characters appear in multiple books, you will enjoy Julie Klassen’s On Devonshire Shores series.
Jane Austen and the Regency Era fans will enjoy this atmospheric series with a varied cast of characters. Readers will find friends in the cast of characters seen on the pages of the series’ first two books. Quirky fishermen, gentry, residents of the home for the destitute, and even the Duke of Kent and his family play an integral part in the story of the Summers sisters.
By Julie Klassen, Bethany House, December 2023, 448 pages.
Ever since their father’s death from apoplexy, Emily Summers has dreamed of her first love coming to rescue her. Instead, Charles Parker distanced himself, fearing the scandalous behavior of Emily’s oldest sister would ruin his family’s good name by association.
To escape poverty, Emily, her twin sister Viola, Sarah, Georgiana, and their mother have turned their home into a guest house in Sidmouth, England. As the winter season approaches, the specter of failure looms. When the Duke and Duchess of Kent and their infant daughter (the future Queen Victoria) lease the neighboring estate for the winter, the Summers family hopes their guest house will share in the bounty.
Viola continues to come out of her self-imposed exile as she settles into married life with Major Jack Hutton. The entire family enjoys living next door to the Huttons. Emily loves watching Viola’s newfound confidence while secretly despairing of ever finding true love. She vows to concentrate on her dreams of becoming an author instead.
Three royal household members take lodging with the Summers. Sarah is strangely attracted to the chef and his enthusiasm for creating in the kitchen. Emily feels a spark of interest for the Duke’s secretary. The spark grows as James Thomson helps her gather information about Sidmouth for a guidebook commissioned by a local publisher. Emily hopes the guidebook will prove her writing capabilities to an editor and gain her entry into the publishing world.
When Charles Parker unexpectedly arrives in Sidmouth with his parents, Emily’s hopes revive. Her childhood dreams may come to fruition. But her interactions with James Thomson have shown her the value of steadfast friendship and sacrificial care for another person. Could she experience these with Charles as well?
What I Loved About This Book
Fans of Jane Austen and Jan Karon will love this Regency novel set along the Devonshire coast in the newly popular village of Sidmouth. Readers can enjoy A Winter by the Sea, the second installment in Klassen’s On Devonshire Shores series, as a standalone novel. A minor mystery, dangerous smugglers, and a royal illness provide dramatic tension in the lives of the Summers sisters.
Readers who struggle with defining how to use their God-given talents will identify with Emily. If you love snuggling into a comfy chair and reading a well-researched slice-of-life novel set in Jane Austen’s era, you’ll love this book.
You'll love this new release from @JulieKlassen and @Bethany_House! #Regency #inspy #amreading Click To Tweet