The Sisters of Seaview is a beautifully written tale of loss, love, and strength. I liked reading about the sister’s lives and inner battles while navigating their new lives. I felt this book was well-written, well paced, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would recommend this to anyone.
The Sisters of Sea View
by Julie Klassen
Pub Date 06 Dec 2022
Bethany House,Bethany House Publishers
Christian| Historical Fiction| Romance
Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley provided me with a copy of The Sisters of Seaview for review:
Their father's death leaves Sarah Summers and her genteel sisters impoverished, forcing them to sell the house and separate to earn a living as governesses or companions. In order to make ends meet and provide for their ailing mother, Sarah convinces them to open their seaside home to guests. Rather than receiving elderly invalids, they find themselves hosting eligible gentlemen instead. She is soon torn between duty to her family and growing attraction to a mysterious Scottish widower.
In order to conceal her scar, Viola Summers wears a veil. When confronted with the choice of helping in her family's new guest house or earning money to hire a maid, she chooses the latter. Despite the fashionable guests staying at their home, she reluctantly agrees to read to some of Sidmouth's many invalids. When her first client turns out to be a wounded officer in his thirties, Viola soon regrets her choice. In this new situation, her scars-both visible and hidden-are exposed and her cloistered heart will never be the same.
On the Devonshire coast, the Summers sisters discover the power of friendship, loyalty, love, and new beginnings.
I give The Sisters of Sea View five out of five stars!
The Sisters of Sea View is heartwarming character-driven historical fiction about four Summer sisters struggling with their financial situation after their father’s death which makes them turn their house, ‘The Sea View’ into a guest house for travelers. But instead of the elderly invalids they expected as their guests they find themselves hosting eligible gentlemen. It was interesting to read how that will change their life.
The story is about their struggle with the change in their life and status from being gentlewomen to tradeswomen, running the guest house, getting out of their comfort zone for a better future, confronting traumatic past, ups and downs in sister relationships, and unexpected romance.
Writing is beautiful, engaging, and touching with slow to steady pace. The story is told in third person narrative from three sisters’ perspectives – Sarah, Emily, and Viola.
All four sisters are amazing. The Summer family dynamic and sisterly bond between them is the best part in the book. I loved how they all worked together to keep their house and staff. They all are realistic and they faced all dramas and struggle that came with turning The Sea View to a guest house together. They didn’t always get along, they had different personalities and views that clashed and still their love for each other shone throughout the book.
The author did an amazing job with all disability reps. It was both interesting and horrible to read about medical treatments of cleft pallet and surgeries in that era and the superstitions of people. The setting of Sidmouth, England in 1819 is fabulous.
Overall, The Sisters of Sea View is cozy, heartwarming, uplifting, and character-driven Regency fiction with an amazing family dynamic and beautiful setting.
The Sisters of Sea View was a fantastic read! I mostly listened to the audiobook, which was read very well.
I liked the characters right away and thought it was interesting how there were a couple of romances in this book. There was also a little bit of a mystery about hidden/missing items, which was fun.
All in all, I enjoyed the story and am eager to read the next book to see what happens next!
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
The Sister of Sea View is the first book in the On Devonshire Shores series by Julie Klassen. The Summer sisters turn their home into an inn to support themselves and their ailing mother financially, but most of their guests turn out to be men looking for a wife. The inn's guests provide delightful distractions. This book was not my favorite book by Klassen, and I hope the next one in the series gets better since the main characters have all been introduced.
The Sisters of Sea View is a wonderful start to the On Devonshire Shores series. When their father dies, the Summers family is left with little in the way of finances, but they own a large seaside home. Sarah, the oldest, convinces her sisters that they can open it up as a guesthouse to support themselves and their ailing mother. Viola, who wears a veil to hide her scars, doesn't want any part of it, so has to find another way to earn money to contribute to the family. She is hired to read and write communications for her neighbour, Major Hutton, an eligible gentleman who is scarred from the war. Meanwhile, back at Summerset House, their guests are not what they had expected. A widower with his step-daughter, a handsome single gentleman, a retired gentleman and a demanding couple keep them on their toes. There is some mystery, romance and angst that made this story very enjoyable.
This is a character-driven historical novel with beautiful writing and a wonderful family story. This first book is Viola's story, although we follow all the sisters in their daily life of running the guesthouse. Viola was born with a harelip/cleft lip and years ago, it was thought to be a curse brought on my the mother's behaviour of to curse the child themself. Her parents had paid for surgery, but it took two to get it the point it was at now. She hides herself from others and is an introvert. Major Hutton is seriously scarred from the war and doesn't see Viola as scarred compared to him. He gradually gets her to feel more comfortable and remove her veil. She also volunteers with people who live alone or in the poorhouse and reads to them. She comes into her own and develops many friendships. Meanwhile, her affection for Major Hutton is growing. Sarah is also having a bit of a romance of her own with a Scottish widower who is staying at the guesthouse. The characters are well-developed and relatable. I found them realistic, with their ups and downs and disagreements, but above all else, their love for each other and their mother shone through. There was a bit of a mystery and treasure hunt, as well as an effort to get a referral in a publication that added to the every day life. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series to see which sister gets her happily ever after. I definitely recommend The Sisters of Sea View if you enjoy a good family drama with some romance.
Love this story about 4 sisters forced to move to Sea View after their father passes away and they are left with very little. The seaside was recommended to help improve their mothers health. To make money their home is turned into an Inn. I am so excited to see what happens next for the sisters!
The best word I can find to describe this book is "sweet." When their father dies the Summers sisters must find ways to pay the bills. Each sister and their sick mother find new ways to bring in an income and they all, some begrudgingly, agree to start taking on boarders in their seaside house. This book has essences of Little Women in the way the characters individual characteristics are so well played against each other and yet the love between them is very well implied. The side characters as well are interesting and read well. The plot does get a bit tedious and long and misses a great mystery that keeps the reader captivated as the author's stand alone novels do. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a sweet, well written period story about a loving family of ladies. Thanks to NetGalley and Bethany House for an early ebook in exchange for an honest review.
"A solitary soul can do little. But together...what lasting beauty we create."
It's been a while since I've indulged in a Julie Klassen book and I'm so happy that I did. This book starts a new series on the Devonshire Shores and I thoroughly enjoyed being transported to this 1819 coastal town of Sidmouth. I learned a good deal about the trending medical theories on benefits of sea-bathing and how it was actually done. There are many characters to sort through since it is the first book of the series but the characters were all unique and felt like long-time friends by the end of the book. The four Summers sisters are truly delightful. Sarah, Emily, Viola, and Georgiana are very different yet connected by sisterly love and loyalty. Sarah's commitment to family and Georgiana's tender sweetness were heart-warming. Emily's disappointments and Viola's bitterness and angst were heart-breaking but their triumph over these obstacles was gratifying. I loved getting to know the Henshall family and the Hutton family and hope to see more of them in future books of the series. Of course, as in most Regency novels, there is a swirl of secrets and a natural disaster of sorts; these plot twists work to bring the sisters, guests, and townspeople closer together. The guests at Sea View are quite entertaining and you'll feel like you've gone on a holiday by the sea as you mingle with this eclectic group.
I received the book from the publisher via LibraryThing and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.
Sweet, heart-warming, comforting novel!! I loved it from the first page to the last. Julie Klassen at her best. I cannot wait to read the stories of the rest of the sisters!!! The ending makes you keep reading this saga.
With little fortune and an ailing mother, the Summers’ sisters open their seaside home to guests to provide for themselves. As the oldest, Sarah takes on the bulk of the tasks, fighting an attraction to their first guest. Emily and Georgiana have their tasks. Viola detests the whole idea, fearing the scars she hides beneath a veil will be revealed. Love blossoms at the seaside, bringing family and friends close together.
This was a sweet story. I liked how each sister played a role in supporting their family and their interactions together. At times, though, it was a little much switching between the sisters. I was never sure which romance had a chance of succeeding by the end of the book. Personally, I would have liked a little more focus.
The details of turning a family home into a lodging house were very interesting, and some of the medical knowledge of the day. I had a chuckle at the appearance of Mr. and Mrs. Elton. Each of the lodgers were amusing in their own way and made for an eclectic cast.
I can definitely see the similarities between Little Women and this one. So I would say if you enjoy that book or historical romance books, you’ll enjoy this one.
NetGalley provided me with an advance copy of the novel and all opinions expressed are my own.
With a definite "Little Women" vibe, this Regency era story is filled with the misadventures of the Summers' sisters whose father has passed, causing them to leave their home and move to the seaside Devonshire. The result of the family losing their financial stabile results in them letting out rooms in their seaside home. The secondary characters invited into their home are full of interesting traits. All the while the Summers' sisters are maturing and learning to let go of past hurts.
I enjoyed this sweet novel, filled with unique and flawed characters. It lent a believable vibe. The author was heavily influenced by Jane Austin and it gave a fun feel to this story. I look forward to the future stories in this series.
Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Sisters of Sea View because while it rightfully belongs in the Regency Romance genre it focuses more on the relationship and challenges of the sisters than on romance. There are actually five sisters (one of whom is missing) but the main plots revolve around Sarah and Viola. I was especially fascinated with Viola’s cleft palate and learning how something like that would have been treated and corrected in that era.
The setting of Devonshire was intriguing as I hadn’t read much about that area of England before. It’s hard to imagine a coastal resort during a time of extreme modesty. I was amused at the description of the “bathing machines” (i.e. little sheds on wheels) where swimmers would change clothes (into “bathing costumes” equally as modest as their everyday attire) and then the whole cart would be hauled into the water so they could timidly dabble their toes in the water, or fully submerge if they were brave enough.
The Sisters of Sea View by Ms. Klassen is an Engaging and delightful read! The plot kept me on me engaged throughout the story and the characters were realistic and well developed. I loved reading The Sisters of Sea View and I highly recommend it. I'm definitely excited to read the next book in this series!
I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own. Thank you to Bethany House Publishing and Julie Klassen for the opportunity to review this wonderful book.
The Summers family has lost their father, and because there are four daughters and no sons, most of his estate is going to an unknown heir. What they have left is their home on the Devonshire Coast, but they do not have enough money to maintain it. They devise a plan to keep the home by turning it into a guest house.
This is the first book in a new series, and it's a winner.! I really enjoy books about boarding houses or hotels because new characters are always coming in as guests, bringing fresh personalities and challenges. The guests in this first book bring mystery, difficulty, and friendship. The sweet hints of romance are a nice touch, but what I liked even more is the self-discovery and growth the sisters experience when they leave their privileged bubble and have to earn their living. I like the fact that the Summers sisters are very different from each other in personality and the unique ways they face their own obstacles. Faith in God through adversity is also a theme in this Christian novel.
Fans of Christian fiction with strong female characters will enjoy this one.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.
Where are my fellow Austen and Alcott lovers? Author Julie Klassen’s love for Austen shines through in The Sisters of Sea View—the first novel in her new Regency series. There are quotes from Austen interspersed throughout and even the appearance of Mr. and Mrs. Elton from Emma into this novel. And my fellow Little Women fans will appreciate this novel about sisters who band together after the death of their father to create income by transforming their coastal home into a guest house.
This novel was a good, easy read for me while recovering from the virus and feeling really fatigued. While the various storylines of the sisters certainly have substance, the book on the whole is a light, easy read. I have fallen in love with the Eastern Shore this year, so it was a lovely escape reading this first book in the On Devonshire Shores series and escaping into this Regency novel set in a small seaside town. I’m already looking forward to reading the next book in the series when it’s available!
Thank you so much for the gifted copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, @bethanyhousefiction!
Historical fiction that takes place on the Devonshire coast. After the Summers father passes they are left to either find employment or open their home as a guest house. Their path to self sufficiency as women is not an easy one and each sister has a different road with their own challenges. Klassen does a great job creating authentic characters, their actions, emotions, and conversations were all well done. I also really loved how they tackled grief in so many different ways. While the opening of the guest house is a new beginning, Klassen shows that sometimes we need to deal with our past to move on, even when it's painful.
I also love how they tackled various forms of being "different." Viola with her scar, a injured soldier returned from war, elderly lace weavers, widowed guests, I could go one but every single character was unleashed on page with grace and compassion for their struggles.
Of course, the story itself is wonderful. There is historical information about health bathing in the sea, multiple love stories 👀❤️, family relationships, navigating the ton, etc.
This is Julie Klassen's second series, and kind of reminds me of The Ivy Hill novels. Quite a lot actually, but that's not a bad thing because I liked those books a lot. Only difference is that those were set in rural Wiltshire, whereas this series is set in a seaside town in Devon, and focuses on several women within an extended family/friendship group. I think each book will focus on a certain sister in the family. There are 5 in all, so it could be a long series.
Are there some faint echoes of a certain series called Sandition here? Maybe. Is that a bad thing? It depends how it is done.
What I really liked about this; first book was that it gave us a “disabled” heroine. Viola was born with a cleft palate and various surgeries had left her with a prominent scar. She wore a veil in public because she was afraid of the social prejudice surrounding her condition. People with mental or physical conditions are often under-represented in fiction, or, worse still, villainized. There is far too much emphasis on “perfect” or physically attractive people in romances, and I am always glad to find authors who move past this trope.
There is another pitfall though, and that is the danger of representing disability in a patronizing or condescending way, and I think Mrs Klassen managed to avoid both. By giving Viola a love interest, Major Hutton, who had suffered facial injuries in (presumably) the Napoleonic Wars, we were able to see two characters work through things together – and sometimes at loggerheads.
Other than Viola and the major, there is an ensemble cast of colourful – and some insufferable- characters. It can be a challenge to incorporate so many characters into a novel like this, whilst fleshing them out, but again, I think the author has done a good job ,and I think we will see more of most of them in future titles of the series. I especially look forward to seeing more of Mr Henshawe and his daughter.
Recommended to all lovers of Regency Fiction and not just established Julie Klassen fans. Also, a great read for those who want something different from the usual romances. Then again, I am biased as Julie Klassen is one of my go-to authors and I always try to get hold of her newest book each year.
Thanks to Bethany House for approving my request for this title on Netgalley. I was not required to write a review and all opinions are my own.
Julie Klassen returns with the first book in a new trilogy set in southern England. The Sisters of Sea View introduces us to four women aged between 15 and 26, who reside with their mother in the Devonshire town of Sidmouth. My first impression of the siblings was that Sarah - the eldest - was the practical one, while Georgiana – the youngest – did her best to be helpful. The twins, 21 year old Viola and Emily, didn’t care to be servants, but Emily found her niche. I didn’t care for Viola at first, but she did grow on me. Much of the narrative focused on Sarah and Viola, with the reader getting a clear idea of their thoughts and feelings regarding their activities. Emily received a small plotline, but Georgie was mostly a background character.
During the story, the three elder sisters learn to conquer certain fears they each have. I don’t think it’s a spoiler, however, to say that not everybody got a happy ending. While the book title implied a focus on the four sisters, only one received that. Who? I’m not going to say, but I was surprised by the direction the book took with regard to that element. There was also a family scandal, partly revealed, that resulted in a fall from society. I’m hopeful that there will be a redemption of it by the end of the final book.
This is a Christian novel but, while the characters attended church (it was the done thing and expected of them), not all had an unconditional faith. Viola expressed that she didn’t like God’s ways, especially due to her condition and the stigma attached to it, and Sarah struggled to accept His will after the loss of her fiancée who had planned on becoming a minister. Due to events in my life, I understood where they came from.
One of the highlights for me was a lighter (at first) scene in the book. A cricket match was held between the fishermen and a team of visitors to the town. I was delighted by the description of the 18th century version of the game. It all went a “bit pear-shaped” but thankfully no one was seriously hurt, including the dogs involved!
Julie Klassen excels at world-building. Her previous Tales From Ivy Hill (2016-18) trilogy is proof of that. I can only hope this On Devonshire Shores series matches up to it. So far, however, so good, and I eagerly await book two.
Disclaimer: Although I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher, the opinions above are my own.
I always enjoy Klassen’s writing! This was very reminiscent of her Ivy Hill series. A little slower paced than some of her other novels. There were several points of view which helped keep the story moving. I never knew exactly what to expect from some of the characters. There were many who were not what they seemed but I couldn’t quite figure them out and had to keep reading. Looking forward to the rest of the books in this series!