The latest book I have read as part of the blogging review program through Bethany House Publishers is Siri Mitchell’s Unrivaled.
Here is a description of the book from the publisher:
Lucy Kendall returns from a tour of the Continent, her luggage filled with the latest fashions and a mind fired by inspiration. After tasting Europe’s best confections, she’s sure she’ll come up with a recipe that will save her father’s struggling candy business and reverse their fortunes. But she soon discovers that their biggest competitor, the cheat who swindled her father out of his prize recipe, has now hired a promotions manager–a cocky, handsome out-of-towner who gets under Lucy’s skin.
And as usual, my five point review!
- Siri Mitchell has written nearly a dozen novels, and this one was my favorite by far. It is set in St. Louis in 1910-11. I’ve been to St. Louis many times over the years and it’s always fun reading about a familiar place. But more than that, the characters were just so well written and realistic. They weren’t likeable all the time [especially Lucy…so infuriating and selfish at times!] but people aren’t always likeable so the book was refreshing in that sense.
- Another thing about this novel that I admired was that Lucy’s romantic dilemma [no surprise there–Christian fiction ALWAYS includes a romantic dilemma] did not turn out the way I thought. Huh? Well, without revealing too much… her choice wasn’t as obvious as it seemed.
- It was so fun reading about the candy making business. Siri’s books are always well written and researched, and since I do have some candy making knowledge myself, the processes described in the book seemed spot on. It would have been fun if some recipes were included at the end though! Maybe on Siri’s website sometime soon? 🙂 There were also great candy metaphors and references throughout the book.
- My biggest complaint about the book was really about Lucy as a character. Her development and change at times seemed a bit unnatural and forced, but again, perhaps that is realistic and I was just annoyed that she didn’t grow up faster. But the story was about her journey into adulthood, so it does make sense.
- Overall, I loved this book. Siri Mitchell writes in a first person, alternating main characters style that I truly enjoy. Having a story narrated from multiple perspectives requires a bit more concentration and can result in a bit more frustration that the characters don’t do what you want them to do, but that’s part of the fun of it. I would highly recommend this book if you want to read a sweet story from the Titanic and Downton Abbey era… set in America! Enjoy!
What are you reading lately?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Bethany House for the chance to read this great book!