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 (On Devonshire Shores #1) by Julie Klasse
Publication Date : December 6, 2022
Publisher : Bethany House Publishers
Read Date : June 29, 2023
Genre : Historical Fiction
Pages : 448
Disclaimer – Many thanks to NetGalley and Publisher for eARC.
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When their father’s death leaves them impoverished, Sarah Summers convinces her sisters to open their seaside home to guests to provide for their ailing mother. Emily and Georgiana agree, but Viola, who wears a veil to cover a scar, detests the idea.
Determined to stay together, the sisters begin the new venture. Instead of the elderly invalids they expect, however, they find themselves hosting eligible gentlemen. Sarah is torn between a growing attraction to a mysterious Scottish widower and duty to her family. Meanwhile, the new situation exposes Viola’s scars–both the visible and those hidden deep within–and her cloistered heart will never be the same.
Regency fiction with an amazing family dynamic
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 of them are main characters. While half of the story’s focus is on the introduction of the Summer family, their life, and all sisters’ past and their relationship with each other, the other half focuses on romantic prospects between Sarah and Mr. Henshall, Emily and Mr. Stanley, and the main romance between Viola and Major Jack Hutton.
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.
Sarah is my favorite. She is the second eldest daughter. She is kind, compassionate, hardworking, mature, and responsible sister who technically runs the house because of their mother’s poor health. It was amazing to see her learning the trade, being the voice of reason, acting as a pacifier between sisters and also difficult guests as well as getting over the grief of not just losing their father but also her fiance and learning to let love in her life once again.
Emily and Viola are fraternal twins. Emily has a sunny personality. She is beautiful, confident, and smart who loves books and it’s her dream to be an author. She is still not over her break up with Charles whom she was courting before their father’s death. She couldn’t understand the sudden change of heart and why he broke up with her. She still hopes he would write her and make things right which makes her vulnerable and also rude towards Viola as Charles hinted their break up is because of her sister. I loved how she didn’t show her hurt to the world and didn’t let it affect her personality. The real reason why Charles left her is easy to guess but I loved how she found it out and made things right with Viola.
Viola is born with a cleft pallet. I felt for Viola the most and rooted for her from the beginning. For years she faced society’s judgments and their cruel behavior that made her wear a veil, reserved and aloof. She also suffered from traumatic multiple medical surgeries that left scars not just in appearance but also in her heart and soul. Because of that she is weary of strangers coming to their house and refused to work in the house or help Sarah. So, when Emily forced her to earn by reading to invalids, she wasn’t happy to get out of her comfort zone.
But when she meets her first client, Major Jack Hutton, their young neighbor badly scared in battle who lost sight in one eye, she not just finds the strength to get over past trauma but also to face the world without the armor of her veil and finds herself healing and be whole in heart and soul.
Georgiana is the youngest and loveliest, full of life and spirit. She not just helps Sarah with cleaning the rooms but also moves her room to the attic and also acts as a chaperone for her sisters. It was amazing how she showed all men she was much better than them at playing cricket.
All the guests and other secondary characters were just as interesting as sisters and they all had their story and were struggling in life. There are three characters with poor/no eyesight, one character is scarred by smallpox, while one character is eccentric and suffers loneliness and has a preserved parrot as a pet.
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. I absolutely enjoyed the picturesque and lyrical description of Sidmouth, some of the facts about the place, famous places to visit, fashion, popular Honiton lace and lacemaker’s life, historical figures, events mentioned in the book, and also the list of books the author used as a reference to write the book.
Climax is the most interesting. I loved how the Summer family helped the community in time of need. The end is lovely and uplifting. Only Viola and Jack got their happily ever after but I can’t wait to see other sisters finding their happiness as well in next books of the series.
Overall, The Sisters of Sea View is cozy, heartwarming, uplifting, and character-driven Regency fiction with an amazing family dynamic and beautiful setting.
I highly recommend this if you like,
Amazing family dynamic
Story about sisterhood
Theme of community and compassion
Austen’s Sense and Sensibility
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