Glamorous Illusions

11237007Book Review: Glamorous Illusions

Author: Lisa T. Bergren

Review by Grace Olson 

The Grand Tour. I had only a vague knowledge of this journey of America’s rich young people as they “finished” their education, but the idea and the premise for this story grabbed hold of me almost as soon as I cracked the beautiful cover. Now I wish I could come up with an excuse to go on my own Grand Tour. 🙂

I apologize for this review coming so late, but I have been busy working on my own book, so, unfortunately, Onto Her Bookshelf and my rigorous reading schedule was what had to be sacrificed. Now that I have more time for my reviews, I’ll be posting on a more consistent schedule. Here’s a sneak peek of the upcoming titles that I’ll be reviewing: Aquifer, Tattler’s Branch, Dragonwitch, Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild, and many more, so don’t forget to check back! Now, on to Glamorous Illusions.

The Story

Taken from the back of Glamorous Illusions:

It’s the summer of 1913 and Cora Kensington’s life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. Not only are the crops failing, but someone dear to Cora is failing as well.

In one fateful afternoon, a stranger comes to call, and Cora discovers a terrible secret about her past…a secret that will radically change her future.

Cora is invited to take the “Grand Tour” of Europe, a journey intended to finish a person’s eduction, to solidify an understanding of ancient culture and contemporary refinement. As she travels from England to France, with kin she’s never known, Cora encounters the blessings of a family name, as well as the curses. But when an unbidden love begins to form, she realizes the journey is only beginning..

The first book in the Grand Tour series will take readers on a journey of cultural refinement, but moreover, explores what truly informs a person’s sense of identity.


Glamorous Illusions was an interesting mix between Cora’s first-person point of view, and another character’s third-person point of view. I’d never seen the use of both a first-person and third-person point of view in a novel, and I actually really enjoyed it. I got to know Cora very well, while at the same time learn about another character.

I love Bergren’s writing. I have read her River of Time Series, and I really enjoyed those books. In Glamorous Illusions, Bergren uses the setting to her full advantage, painting a word-picture of wherever her characters are, and bringing that place to life. I felt as if I was there with Cora, walking the plains of Montana, sailing on the Titanic’s sister ship, the Olympic, and climbing the steps of the Eiffel Tower.

And, of course, there is romance in Glamorous Illusions. Cora, a beautiful young woman, has no lack of admirers, but a surprising affection begins to take hold within her during her journey, competing for her heart with the attentions of a daring Frenchman. All is not resolved at the book’s end, however. Glamorous Illusions is but the first novel in a three-book series, and I must admit, I am hooked. I can’t wait to read what else Cora encounters on her journey, and who ultimately wins her heart.

Cora’s growth, however, was what really enhanced my reading experience. The book, as well-written and suspenseful as it is, is only made deeper, greater, by the journey of self-discovery Cora embarks on. She must discover who she is and what defines her, such as her relationship with Christ, and what she wishes to be defined by. I was able to identify with her as she learned new things on her adventure and came to deeper understanding about herself and her God, just as I have in different journeys of my life.

About the Author 

Biography from David C. Cook Publisher’s website: Lisa T. Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over thirty books, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. A former publishing executive, she now splits her time working as a freelance editor and business consultant and parenting her three young children with husband Tim. She lives in Colorado Springs. ~ To learn more about her and the other books she has written, visit her web page:


I really, really enjoyed Glamorous Illusions. Bergren kept me hooked from cover to cover and even beyond as I look forward to reading the next book in the series. Here is a book that is a delight to read, suspenseful, engaging, and has a deeper spiritual journey that I can identify with. I was more than entertained while reading this book; I was encouraged to take a look at my own life and what defines me, and whether I want to be defined by those things.

Glamorous Illusions is available for check-out, download, or paper copy.

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