Monday, June 13, 2011

Vespertine, by Saundra Mitchell (fiction) - visions at sunset, perilous forecasts

Mysterious, metaphysical Monday, and we look to the Sunset, the beginning of evening, those bright moments before dusk and the fall of night... In those fiery glows, is there perhaps the thinnest opening from the spirit world into our own?

In Amelia's day, spiritualism was a popular pastime with society ladies and their daughters, who enjoyed visits to mediums as part of their social calls. But I don't think they honestly expected Amelia's visions to come true...neither did she!

Mitchell is busy on a companion novel, The Springsweet, which will take us west to Oklahoma - due out in Spring 2012.

This is a delightfully spooky tale with a psychic gift that's rather out of the ordinary and definitely beyond Amelia's control. Would you believe the Vespertine's visions?

Book info: The Vespertine / by Saundra Mitchell. Harcourt Children's Books, 2011. [author's website] [author's blog] [publisher site] [book trailer]

Recommendation: Sunsets brought the visions to Amelia, unasked for. She’d come to Baltimore to finish school and perhaps find a husband, not to capture visions of futures good or bad.

Amelia’s never had a friend her own age or traveled away from her tiny Maine town, so she has much to learn about party manners and calling cards and everything that Zora considers vital for them as well-bred young ladies of 1889. Her cousin soon whirls her into the dances and dinners and archery and park outings favored by the young people of the city. Amelia looks forward to seeing Nathaniel, even though the painter is not in their social class, according to Zora’s mother.

When the red-orange flash of sunset causes a prediction to fall from Amelia’s lips, Zora is intrigued; when it quickly comes true, she’s enthralled. Word spreads among their friends, then among the society ladies of Baltimore, and Amelia is hailed as “Maine’s Own Mystic” for her visions of the future, seen only at the hour of Vespers, at sunset.

But when one vision becomes a perilous reality, Amelia’s world is torn apart. Will she ever stop seeing the future? Can she and Nathaniel find a way to stay together? Will "the Vespertine" be forever entranced and ensnared by the sunset?

Hopeless and hopeful, gloomy and gleaming – sunset may be the finale of one day or the beginning of tomorrow in this stunning book. (One of 5,000 books recommended on

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