Hello lovelies! Welcome to day 12 of blogmas!
I didn’t plan to write this today but I just finished reading this wonderful book and I couldn’t help but write a review also because you know, this is an ARC so I technically have to write a review.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Title: Dearest Josephine
Author: Caroline George
Synopsis: (Goodreads) Caroline George sweeps readers up into two different time periods with an unexpected love story that prompts us to reimagine what it means to be present with the people we love.
2020: Chocolate and Earl Grey tea can’t fix Josie De Clare’s horrible year. She mourned the death of her father and suffered a teen-life crisis, which delayed her university plans. But when her father’s will reveals a family-owned property in Northern England, Josie leaves London to find clarity at the secluded manor house. While exploring the estate, she discovers two-hundred-year-old love letters written by an elusive novelist, all addressed to someone named Josephine. And then she discovers a novel in which it seems like she’s the heroine…
1820: Novelist Elias Roch loves a woman he can never be with. Born the bastard son to a nobleman and cast out from society, Elias seeks refuge in his mind with the quirky heroine who draws him into a fantasy world of scandal, betrayal, and unconditional love. Convinced she’s his soulmate, Elias writes letters to her, all of which divulge the tragedy and trials of his personal life.
As fiction blurs into reality, Josie and Elias must decide: How does one live if love can’t wait? Separated by two hundred years, they fight against time to find each other in a story of her, him, and the novel written by the man who loves her
Expected publication: February 2nd 2021 by Thomas Nelson
4 stars: Aphrodite – Goddess of love and beauty. That means that I really liked the book, whether it was the writing style, plot or characters. It means it was an amazing book that I would completely recommend for the beautiful piece of art it is. However the book is not a Persephone (5 stars) because something keeps it from making it one of my favourite book ever.
This book is incredibly unique. I loved the epistolary form (through letters, emails, texts…) and the embedded story. At first, I thought the format would be confusing, that I wouldn’t be able to set the characters apart and distinguish what was real and what was fiction. I’ma happy to report that it was not the case because the writing style was flawless. I have not read such a well-written book in a while. I’m usually more plot or character-driven but the writing style was enough to make me care. If you read the synopsis then you know we get to read letters from Elias Roch who lives in the 19th century and I can tell the amount of research the author went through (at least I think haha) into making Elias’ letters sound as authentic as they are. I’m a sucker for love letters and his were Mr Darcy-level good. I could even tell the influences of Jane Austen or even Emily Brontë ( i.e “If you are a ghost, then haunt me”). through some quotes or lines that made me think of 19th century literature. It was a real joy to read this. I loved the sarcasm, wit and love seeping through the letters, emails, texts and emails. I highlighted so many quotes from this book one of my favourites being:
I meant humans often fail to acknowledge the beauty around them, but their lack of notice doesn’t determine a thing’s value. Gorse does not require an audience to grow, and neither do people. We aren’t who we are because of what others see or say.”
I absolutely loved all of the characters and the fact that some of them were flawed. I mean the book begins with Josephine apologizing for being a bad friend. I liked how the author didn’t sugarcoat anything and delved into the characters’ emotions. It was so pure and raw and I think it conveyed every feeling beautifully – especially grief. I liked how each character had its own voice and seeing some of them growing and coming to terms with who they are was so beautiful.
I enjoyed the way “romance” was depicted in this even if I’m not really a fan of instalove. I like seeing my characters fall in love through the pages but the book solves that issue in some aspects so I guess it was okay.
Now let’s talk about the ending which made me both want to throw the book across my bed (I promise, no reading devices were harmed while reading this book) as well as swoon. I audibly went “aww” when I read the last pages. I think overall this was a beautiful book about healing and looking for love in life, the little things and the people around us.
I highly recommend!