Friday, July 3, 2009

Review: Love's Pursuit by Siri Mitchell

Love's Pursuit CoverI finally finished a book this week, and OH WHAT A BOOK! I have now written three lines and deleted them because I'm not sure I can really put into words or do justice in this review. Reading
Love's Pursuit
was like the ultimate cathartic experience for me...but in a way that made me face truth rather than escape it. And when I think about my very favorite books this is usually the criteria they meet. People often talk about reading to escape but I think the very best books draw you in and blindside you with the truth. And
Love's Pursuit
certainly did that.

Susannah Phillips is seen as a good girl in her Puritan community but she does not see herself as good at all. But she certainly struggles to maintain her image. She hopes to marry John Prescotte and things seem on track until Captain Daniel Holcombe comes to Stoneybrooke to help the community protect themselves from the savages. Daniel challenges everything Susannah believes and offer her friendship. But soon Susannah finds herself betrothed to a man she can't fathom marrying. And really that's all I can say without totally ruining the plot.

Siri Mitchell's books are slow builders. I was reading this book and thinking, yes it's good and all, but probably not my favorite. I had seen some really positive reviews, though, so I kept on. I am so very glad I did, as soon as I hit a little over the halfway mark the book just took off. And I realized I needed that slow build to be so impacted.

The book is beautifully crafted, the language seems authentic to the time, and the characters are sharply drawn. As she did in A Constant Heart, she splits the narrative between two first person voices, though this time it is between two females. I love this passage about bird hunting (but is really about Stoneybrooke),
"'Twas not difficult in the way of sport. The birds followed each other as a group. Too late they learned of their folly. They were easily entrapped by a net thrown over them and then just as easily felled by the blow of a club."

And this one about shame,
"It wrapped itself tighter and tighter until you could scarce breathe from the constraint, and then, finally, it sewed itself shut. Once the cloak was fastened, it could not be cast off, for by then, it had joined itself to the flesh, to one's very soul."

Love's Pursuit
is an examination of grace, justice, shame, mercy, and most of all love. And it's beautiful and hopeful. As Susannah says so eloquently, "in my experience, no hope is small."

Siri Mitchell cannot write fast enough for me, I eagerly await her next book.

Rating: 5/5
Things You Might Want to Know: This is Christian fiction, and the discussion of faith and God is very present. But not at all in a didactic way. I love everything about how this book was crafted.

Love's Pursuit
is available everywhere now.



Sandy Nawrot said...

WOW! I know how you feel when you read something that blows you away to the extent that you feel you can't possibly craft a review to do it justice. But a 5 out of 5! I'm writing this one down as I speak. Incredible post.

Julie P. said...

You have me sold on this book! You have never led me wrong and if you are saying that this book terrific, then it's going on my list. I don't know a lot about Christian fiction so I totally depend on your for my recommendations!

Megan said...

"...the very best books draw you in and blindside you with the truth." How very true and what a great way of putting it. Couldn't agree more. :)

I love books where you don't realize until the end that the slow build has you totally wrapped up in the story and the characters so much so that you are that much more affected by what happens. I'll definitely be adding this one to my wish list.

Beth F said...

So happy you're back in book-finishing heaven!

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

This one sounds terrific. Great review too!

Sheila DeChantal said...

With a review like that, how could I not take a second look at this book? :) It sounds wonderful.

Amee said...

Sounds excellent! I haven't read A Constant Heart, but it is on my wish list. I'll have to add this one as well!

rachel said...

the book is unbelievable. It is something I will whole heartedly recommend to secular friends because of its gorgeous prose and literary atmosphere.

Mitchell has (again ) outdone herself and it one of the strongest authors in the Christian market.

Jenny Girl said...

Whoa Amy! I don't read christian fiction, but your review is making me reconsider my position. sounds like a fantastic book. Excellent review.
It's hard to put into word sometimes how much we enjoy a book. You did a grgeat job.

Darlene said...

Glad to see you liked this one so much Amy. I have it in my tbr pile and I'm anxious to get to it.

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