Book Review

Book Review: The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

“Why is it, Captain, that we only appreciate what we have after it is gone? If only the thought of losing something or someone would cause us to value it while it’s right under our nose.”


Fiction, Romance, Historical
Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date:
December 1, 2015
Number of pages:


 From the Publisher:

“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?”


My Review:

The Painter’s Daughter Ate My Homework

A Play in One Scene

By Rachael

(Screen on phone lights up.)

Email notification: “”The Painter’s Daughter” by Julie Klassen has been sent to your Kindle.”

(Quickly opens Kindle and begins jumping around in anticipation.)

Rachael: (Whispers to self) “I’m only going to read the first chapter because I have an important college assignment due tomorrow that I really need to work on.”

(Fingers tremble as they slide across the screen. Multiple mixed emotions flash across face. Finishes Chapter One.)

Rachael: “Well, that assignment can wait a few more minutes. It won’t take too long.”

(Reads three more chapters.)

Rachael: “I need to be a responsible adult and do my homework!”

(Glances at Kindle longingly.)

Rachael:“Forget this! I might as well accept the fact that no school is going to be done today.”

(Insert many gasps, smiles, and laughs throughout)

(Hours pass and eyes begin to burn. Notices the clock reads 2:00 a.m.)

Rachael: “Only a few…more… chapters!!!”

(Reaches the end of the book and turns off Kindle. Head falls into pillow and a loud groan escapes my mouth.)

Rachael: “After the emotional trauma that I have just suffered, there is no way that I am expected to do any homework tomorrow!”


And that, my dear reader, is a summary of what it is like for me to receive and read a Julie Klassen novel in merely a few hours.

Since you ventured over here to read a review then I should probably give that to you, huh?

Let’s start with the glorious cover…

When the cover was released, even before I read the synopsis, I was like, “I am reading that book! That cover is phenomenal!”

If that was not your reaction then I am requiring that you look at it again.

If that was your reaction, then keep scrolling. You rock.

For you doubting people, I present the cover to you again:


Gorgeous, isn’t it?

With the colors, design, and typography, I think that it is the best of her covers.

As for characters, I think Julie’s talent in character development improves with every book. I loved Sophie so much! She’s so down to earth, realistic, strong, and sweet. Wesley I just wanted to slap (which, by the way, is a good thing). I think I was glaring at him throughout the entire book. He aggravated me. Stephen, on the other hand, I adored throughout. Some people that I talked to were like, “In the beginning, I wanted to strangle him! He was so grumpy and cold.” But the whole time I was like:

Correction: “He is” instead of “They’re”


Seriously, I absolutely loved Stephen, even in his rude stage.He’s the brooding romantic type who softens once you get to know him.

You will love him!

Now, let’s talk about content and the plot! Yaaay!

The plot was drawn out so well! I honestly couldn’t put the book down! There are so many unexpected plot twists and exciting passages! It’s too good to be true.

There’s this one part when Sophie…*covers mouth* No spoilers. I desperately want to tell you about every single little detail!

But I can’t.

What about the part where….


You really should read the book!

No spoilers now! There’s this battle scene in the book that was phenomenal! I don’t deal with blood and gore well but that scene was so intense and action packed, I was engrossed. Yet another reason why I think this book is better than all the rest.



Something else!

I would like to nominate The Painter’s Daughter for the best first kiss in Historical Christian Fiction.

Seriously though, WOW! I have never come across a kiss in Historical Christian Fiction that comes close to being that well written. Julie nailed it! I really want to create my own reward program just so that she can win it.

I think I will. 😉

If you’ve read my reviews of Julie’s books before you will notice that there is one specific detail that I look for in every single book by Julie Klassen of hers (which she is well aware of by now because I constantly mention the fact to her) — This detail being the Jane Austen quotes that she hides amongst the pages.

I found them!!! I won’t give them away but I found every last one of them. I am very proud of myself.

Julie also incorporated a nod towards a scene in Jane Eyre which I noticed that made me smile like an idiot.

“How shall I bear so much happiness?”

Oh yes I did.


If you are reading this I just want you to know that you made me giddy by putting in those literary references. I appreciated it! You’re amazing. 🙂

To tie this review up with a little bow, all I have left to say is: With its thrilling mysteries, faint-inducing romance, and well-crafted characters, it’s safe to say that The Painter’s Daughter is my favorite book by Julie Klassen.

*confetti falls from the sky*

If you have read any of Julie’s books, can you recall a specific literary reference that she included in her novel?



Obviously you already know how much I adored this book. I recommend it to anyone who likes regency novels, Jane Austen, and/or Jane Eyre. It is an incredible book.

Content Warning:

I don’t usually do this but by recommendation of a friend, I decided to.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to teenagers unless they are really mature because of a sensual, marital scene at the end. I’m not bothered by sensuality if it is pure between a man and a wife, which this scene is so it didn’t phase me. If you are uncomfortable by this type of thing, here is your warning. (Note: It doesn’t go extremely far. Just enough to make it in need of a warning).

Like I mentioned before, this book also includes a battle scene which wasn’t too gory in my opinion. I figured it would be good to mention again just as a heads up.

Find The Painter’s Daughter on:



Barnes and Noble

Bethany House Publishers

Connect with Julie Klassen:

Julie’s Website

Julie’s Facebook Page

Julie’s Goodreads

Other Books by Julie Klassen:

Lady of Milkweed Manor

The Apothecary’s Daughter

The Silent Governess

The Girl in the Gatehouse

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

The Tutor’s Daugher

The Dancing Master

The Secret of Pembrooke Park

Lady Maybe

*I received this book from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you, Bethany House and Netgalley for the privilege to review this book! *

*Photo borrowed from Bethany House Publishers’ website*

*Genie photo from Pinterest*


7 thoughts on “Book Review: The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

  1. Sorry to bother you AGAIN Rachael . You see I haven’t read for Klassen before and I like the regency period and everyone seems to be in love with her books. However, I have been striving for a while to find a clean novel by her, and I really liked the story line of this one. So, if you will be so kind as to answer these 2 inquiries for me:
    1- The warning you have mentioned, is it only in the end of the novel? Meaning, the rest of the novel doesn’t include these sensual details you have mentioned.
    2- Can you recommend for me clean (squeaky preferably) regencies by Klassen and Elizabeth Camden if you happen to read for her too.

    One last thing dear, I just have a suggestion for you since I have been looking through regency clean novels for months now. Can you make sure that you add the content writing part to each novel you review. I am asking this because in all the reviews I have read, reviewers would rarely or never mention that part, even in Good Reads I would find this part added by mere chance. Honestly, I believe it is important to have that part added to all reviews, as I noticed that most people who look for regency novels, search for clean reads which I am afraid is not really the case with many novels in that genre.

    Sorry to bother you and I hope I haven’t taken much of your time and good luck with your studies. By the way, you have an enchanting blog that why I have decided to suggest the previous idea for you, keep it up.

    Best wishes,


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