Burgundy Gloves by Julia David

Brief Synopsis: Allison Kent is a proper, though orphaned, young woman in 1880. She has studied and then taught in an all-girls boarding school for most of her life, and now is ready to pursue her future with a sense of adventure. However, the adventure she encounters may not line up with what she hopes to find. Betrayal, drama, and a drastic lifestyle change await her; Allison will endure trials which will test her resolve, but along the way she just might discover true love and something worthy of her faith.

For fans of historical romance, Burgundy Gloves is a winner.

Julia David spins a captivating tale of true love blossoming from adversity. Allison, a young woman seeking adventure, finds herself in a place where she must rely on the hospitality of a man she has never met after losing her memory. Levi, the young man who rescues her, must deal with the fact that his once-quiet life will never be the same now that she has come into it. Although the situations seem a bit outrageous, David makes the story so mesmerizing that the reader easily suspends reality in order to discover the pair’s fate.

I’m a stickler for good character development, and this is a point where David excels. While most of the story is narrated from Allison’s perspective, there are instances where other characters take over. Through these flawlessly executed transitions, we learn not only the actions of several characters, but also their thoughts and intentions. There is no question that the characters mature and develop over the course of the story in deep, meaningful ways. For example, when Levi is first introduced he is shown to be tentative, kind, and prideful. He acts out when he does not get his way and is entirely used to living on his own with no one to hold him accountable. However, as we see him interact with his acquaintances and hear his prayers, we watch him grow. By the end of the book he is less impulsive, a characteristic which is not stressed upfront but is apparent when paying attention to his actions and thought processes.

An important aspect of this story is the faith Levi’s family holds. In the 1880’s there were no commentaries, theology podcasts, or online forums where people could discuss their beliefs or find answers to difficult questions. People simply read the Bible for themselves, and let its words impact their lives. The theme of faith runs through the background of Burgundy Gloves; it is not an obvious plot device, but adds depth and reality to the setting and to the point the author is making with the story as a whole. It is refreshing to read a story which incorporates Christianity in a historically accurate and not overwhelming manner.

My only criticism would be in relation to the title; I expected the gloves to play a much more substantial role in the plot than they did. Although they are present throughout the entire story, and after reading the author’s note which follows the story I understand their importance, I often found myself curious almost to the point of being disappointed that there was not something more going on with them.

Finally, not only is this book well written, the story simply is interesting and enjoyable to read. Allison’s situation is uncommon, the characters quickly become like close friends to the reader, and the action flows at a decent pace. This is overall a good book to read.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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