Sunday, July 3, 2011

Book Review: An Unlikely Suitor

Unlikely Suitor, An
Book Details:
Title: An Unlikely Suitor
Author: Nancy Moser
2011, Bethany House Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0752-5
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Book Summary:
Spend a Season in glamorous 1895 Newport in this compelling tale of friendship, devotion, and sacrificial love.

New York dressmaker Lucy Scarpelli befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she's designing her summer wardrobe. Grateful for Lucy's skill in creating fashions that hide her physical injury, Rowena invites Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, encouraging the unusual friendship.

One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what Newport man would want to marry an Italian dressmaker working to support her family?

Rowena faces an arranged marriage to a wealthy heir she doesn't love, but dare a crippled girl hope for anything better?

And Lucy's teenage sister, Sofia, falls for a man well above her social class - but is he willing to give up everything to marry a woman below his station?

As the lives of three young women - and their unlikely suitors - become entangled in a web of secrets and sacrifice, will the season end with any of them finding true happiness?

My Review:
Hm.... where to start with this one? My initial reaction: I love the cover - it's beautiful and I think it sets the tone very well for the time period of this novel. I love the idea of this book, with the intertwining lives and social classes. The author also does an excellent job of using historical facts in her novel, from the immigrant culture in New York, to the Vanderbilt's mansion in Newport. She even gives a chapter-by-chapter accounting of which parts were actual fact, which was kind of neat at the end of the book.

What I didn't like about this book? I felt it was overwhelmingly unrealistic. All three women are in love with people out of their social class. And although I love a great "rags to riches" or "love at all cost" stories, this one was a little over the top for me. I found it hard to believe that all three women could be in the same predicament and have them all turn out happy in the end. 

I almost couldn't stand Lucy's little sister Sophia. She was beyond spoiled and grated on my nerves every time the story was from her perspective. She spoke out of turn and did things that I do not think ANY respectable working class woman would EVER do in the presence of "society" people - and get away with it. Her character did not seem historically accurate AT ALL.

I will say that I liked all the male characters in this book, but they are not as complicated as the women. =)

All in all, if you like stories for themselves, this is a decent read. If you are bothered by characters not acting like they should in their portrayed time period (like me), I'd pass on this one.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free-of-charge by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. I received no other compensation and all opinions are purely my own.

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