The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron: Book Review
About the Book
Book: The Painted Castle
Author: Kristy Cambron
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Bestselling author Kristy Cambron concludes the Lost Castle novels with this sweeping tale of art and secrets long buried in England.
It was supposed to be a one-week job: survey an art find, collect a hefty fee, and use that to settle historian Kiera Foley’s life back into balance. But from the moment she sets foot in the East Suffolk countryside, the mysteries surrounding the old English manor and the enigmatic art thief who’s employed her stir more questions than answers. Then, Kiera finds the existence of a portrait captivating enough to upend all of her expectations. This one could be a twin-a painting so close in composition to a known masterpiece, it may be rendered priceless if it truly captured the likeness of a young Queen named Victoria.
Set in three time periods-the rapid change of Victorian England, the tumultuous skies over England’s eastern shores in WWII, and modern day-The Painted Castle unfolds a legacy of faith, family, and stories that are generations in the making.
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I’m not sure how she does it, but Kristy Cambron is a powerhouse when it comes to timelines. Six main characters spread out over three different time periods and they all play on each other to build a novel I couldn’t put down.
I don’t think I can pick a favorite time period or character. Each had its own strengths and the ability to teach something relevant. All three women were strong, independent, and capable. Elizabeth might have shown the most character growth, but they were all wonderful.
I love the intrigue of the castles. Through this entire series, the castle has been a main focus point that anchors the reader in the past and the present. Each set of characters will face heartache, but they will also learn about grace and forgiveness.
This has been a fantastic series, and I’m sorry to see it end, but I love the fact that each book stands alone. They work together as a series, building on the Foley family one at a time so you’re not overwhelmed. By the time The Painted Castle released, I felt that everyone had been worked smoothly into each story while highlighting a particular member.
The spiritual arc is beautifully done without being flashy. You have to look a little closer in some places, which really made me pay attention to what was going on in each story.
As it was with previous books in this series, the setting was fantastic. I never doubted where anyone was, and the descriptions were so realistic I could feel Amelia’s books in my hands.
I requested a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
KRISTY CAMBRON is an award-winning author of historical fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She’s a Women’s Ministry Leader at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, and a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation, working with such companies as the Disney Institute, IBM/Kenexa, and Gallup. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.
More from Kristy
About The Painted Castle
A war-torn estate holding its secrets close. A lost library bricked off from the world. And a portrait-maker’s unknown masterpiece of a Queen named Victoria… What stories do they long to tell?
It was supposed to be a one-week snatch-and-grab: survey an art find, collect a hefty fee, and use that to settle historian Kiera Foley’s life back into balance. But from the moment she sets foot in the East Suffolk countryside, the mystery of an old English manor, a crumbling beekeeper’s cottage, and a library that had long ago been sealed off brick by brick, all stir more questions than answers. What begins as a novice assignment instead peels back layers, lulling Keira into the depths of the estate’s long-forgotten history.
Despite questions swirling around the enigmatic, rumored art thief who’s employed her, Keira finds the existence of a portrait captivating enough to upend all of her expectations. This one could be a twin—a painting so close in composition to a known masterpiece, it may be rendered priceless if it truly captured the likeness of a young Queen named Victoria…
1842— In order to salvage what’s left of her family’s shaky circumstances, artist Elizabeth Meade knows her duty must be to marry well. But she hopes looks can be deceiving enough to hide her true motives behind a congenial smile and gain entry into the ballrooms of England’s noble elite. Instead of husband-hunting, Elizabeth searches for the one thing that’s seared to her memory—the eyes of her father’s killer, whom she unwittingly sketched one snowy night in Piccadilly ten years before. She never expects to find answers tucked away in the countryside at Parham Hill, in the form of a portrait-maker who could help her artist dreams come true, if only she could forget the highwayman she’s hunted for the last decade—the estate-owner who unwittingly selects her as his betrothed…
1942—When the 390th Bomb Group arrives at Amelia Woods’ Parham Hill Estate, the American flyboys bring playing cards, B-17 “flying fortresses”, and enough bravado to believe they can triumph over Hitler just by staring him down. Amelia isn’t certain, and she’s unwilling to compromise the safety and security in a carefully-crafted world she’s built for the dozens of London-evacuated children left in her charge. But with Anderson shelters buried in the gardens and an Allied airfield a stone’s throw away, Amelia may have no choice but to wait out the war under blackouts and bombs, and accept help from the captain who offers it—even if it means risking all she has left of her late husband’s memory…
From the streets of Piccadilly and the lavish halls of Buckingham Palace to the countryside surrounding Framlingham Castle, a warn-torn estate, a hidden library, and the lost portrait of a queen come together to write the final chapter in the Lost Castle series. Set in three time periods—the rapid change of Victorian England, the tumultuous skies over England’s eastern shores in WWII, and modern day—The Painted Castle unfolds a legacy of faith and the family we fight for, of risk and reward, and the artful crafting of a story that can be generations in the making… yet still change everything about a single life.