By Tamera Alexander
Bethany House, $14.99, 430 pages

Claire Laurent, a skilled artist, finds herself confined to forging masterpieces for her father’s business. She longs to leave an impression on the post Civil War world with her own paintings, but only when tragedy strikes is she able to flee her New Orleans past and begin anew. Through uncanny circumstances, she finds herself working in Belmont Mansion, home to Adelicia Acklen, the wealthiest and most influential woman in town. Under Adelicia’s watchful eye, Claire struggles with the secrets of her past while discovering hidden aspects of others’ lives, including the man with whom she falls in love, Sutton Monroe.

Unlike many books of its kind, A Lasting Impression transcends formulaic storylines. As the characters develop and grow closer to one another, their authenticity and warmth draws in readers. You’ll find yourself sighing and laughing in tandem. The juxtaposition of two spitfire women creates a humorous, complex duo. The endearing romance between Claire and Sutton carries the bulk of the story. Though author Tamera Alexander tries to craft a vivid sense of place, the captivating relationship between Claire and Sutton overshadows most antebellum period aspects that make this piece historical fiction.

Reviewed by Halley Greene

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