Friday, March 16, 2012

A Most Unsuitable Match by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Whenever I'm reading books that I'm reading to write a review I find myself constantly thinking about how am I going to review this book. What will I say? Is this book great the way it was written? Or do I find myself wanting to know more about something that was touched upon but not answered? This book was no exception. Thousands of thoughts flitted through my mind as I read this book in connection to writing this review. But like every other review when I finally pull out my computer to write the review I also find myself faltering with how to begin. I don't want to always start every book review the same way, but I want people to know what the book means to me.

I guess I'll begin by letting you know what this book was about and then move on to what I thought about the way it was written and how it affected my life.

The book starts out with Fannie Rousseau kneeling beside her mother's grave. She has recently become an orphan. While money seemed to be no option all of her life, she soon finds out that she is nearly destitute. Shortly after learning about this an intruder enteres the house and because of this, she searches through the house for all valuables so that she can put them in a safe place. While searching through her mother's room, she discovers a picture of an aunt that she has never even heard of along with letters written from that aunt. She becomes intrigued and when faced with the possibility of marrying someone she doesn't know so that she can maintain her privileged lifestyle, she impulsively runs away via steamboat to Montana to try to find this unknown aunt.

While on her journey west to find her aunt, she meets Samuel Beck who is also searching for someone as well - his sister Emma. The two become friends and join their search together (don't worry her elderly maid Hannah came along with her). As they embark on this journey so many unexpected things happen that draw them closer together and closer to God. That's just the book in a nutshell!

I found this book was really easy to get into and pulled me into the story - I love a mystery even if it is just to find out why Fannie had never heard of her aunt. There were a couple of things that bothered me about the book, nothing horrendous by any stretch of the imagination of course, just things I would have liked to have fleshed out more. Without giving too much of the story away, it seemed that some of the minor characters that I'm not even going to go into for sake of space became more major characters than the major characters at some points in the book. It also seemed to me that while the story seemed to be focusing on Fannie and Samuel and their feelings for each other the majority of the book didn't even mention it - towards the end it seemed like the book needed to be finished quickly and so it focused again on these feelings and quickly had a resolution that was somewhat unsatisfying. Those are my negatives, overall though I really did enjoy this book. While I didn't think it stayed on point in the middle I found that the middle to be very interesting it just made me want the story to have a different ending.

One of the biggest signs to me of a good book is identifying with the characters and in this case I really felt like I did. There was such good individual character development portrayed throughout this book. I don't normally quote portions of the book, but I really felt like this particular part really spoke to me spiritually especially with everything we've been going through lately (loss of job, looking for a job even if it means moving to a totally different location, etc.)

This takes place between Samuel and his friend Lamar:

Lamar talking to Samuel after reading the passage, "Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

"...why is it you seem to think the only time it's God's will is if it's hard - something you got to force yourself to do?...Now, I know - sometimes that's how things are, and then we just lean into the wind and trust the hand of God to keep us from blowing away. But it seems to me that when a man listens to God's voice as sincerely as you do, Sam...couldn't God be putting the your heart, too?" Personally this just really spoke to me. It seems that a lot of times we seem to think that God's will is only going to be something hard and difficult for us and not something that we will want. It was such an encouragement to read that and to realize that our God wants to give us the desires of our hearts when we are truly delighting in Him!!!

I don't want to digress too much, but needless to say this book really did speak to me and I do highly recommend it even though there were a few things that I would have liked to see differently in the book.

I want to mention in closing that I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House. I was under no obligation to give it a positive review. If you would like to know more more about other books this author has written or just want to know more about the author herself check out her website here.

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