3 March 2014

Review: Love Comes Calling by Siri Mitchell

Welcome to the Roaring Twenties ...



Ellie Eton is about to finish her second year at Radcliffe, but has no interest in finishing her degree. She wants to take the train to Hollywood and star in a movie with someone like Rudolph Valentino. Her family expect her to finish her degree (that’s what Eton women do, well, except for her sister) and then marry her childhood friend Griffin Phillips.

But her real trouble starts when she agrees to fill in for Janie, the daughter of a former family servant, in her job as a telephone operator. Ellie soon finds that being a working woman isn’t the glamorous life she’d thought … and inadvertently overhearing what could be a threatening phone call doesn’t help.

Love Comes Calling is written in the first person, from Ellie’s point of view. Ellie is an interesting character, well able to carry the story, and isn’t as annoying as some of Siri Mitchell’s heroines, although she is rather selfish and flighty. I’m also not convinced that she’s a reliable narrator—she’s very innocent and has grown up in a sheltered and privileged environment, and didn’t always see the obvious. However, I found that rather added to her charm, as the reader is left to try and read between the lines, to spot clues Ellie has missed.

Love Comes Calling has a serious theme, the same as in the other Sri Mitchell books I’ve read. The difference was that the reader got to discover the problem and the issues as Ellie did. We weren’t beaten over the head with it (which was my enduring memory of reading two of Mitchell’s previous novels, The Cubicle Next Door and She Walks in Beauty).

I enjoy Sri Mitchell’s writing for the most part, but she does have some glitches. In Love Comes Calling, the glitch was 'oysters and clambakes!', which was Ellie’s standard expletive. It got repetitive. One of the handy features of reading on a Kindle is the search feature. Ellie actually only said oysters and clambakes twenty times, but that was more than enough for me to notice (and get annoyed). It might have mattered less if God had mattered more. He only got seven mentions (and one of those was in the discussion questions at the end), so while this was an enjoyable story, I’d characterise it as written from a Christian viewpoint rather than as Christian fiction.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Siri Mitchell at her website.

7 comments:

  1. Your reviews are insightful and show a true wordsmith, passionate about books, authors and writing.
    Ruth

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  2. Love your reviews, Iola. They show your love of story but also your insights into writing. Very helpful.

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  3. Loved your word search idea, Iola! And what a contrast between that phrase and God's name! Next time repetition bothers me in a book, I'm going to do the same thing. I've used the search feature with murder mysteries, to see what clues I missed when the murderer first came on the scene.

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  4. Thank you, Carol, for your kind words.

    Carole, I hadn't thought of using the word search feature in a murder mystery - what a good idea!

    Thank you both for visiting.

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  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed Ellis and her story! Thanks for taking the time to write and post a review. The heroine in The Cubicle Next Door *was* a little heavy-handed, wasn't she? Enviro-issues are not where my own personal passions reside, but that's what makes writing so interesting to me. Discovering people who are so different than I am. I'm sure some readers must think I'm a heretic, but I've found I'm very effected by the time period I'm researching. In the 1920s a lot of emphasis, especially in America's humanistic East Coast upper classes, was put on doing rather than believing. I'm releasing a novel to the general market next month under my pen name that's set in the Dark Ages. God was seen everywhere during that time period and he's everywhere in the text of that story. Thanks again for posting a review!

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  6. The Dark Ages? Interesting. A lot of people have the impression they were 'dark' because God was largely absent, so I'd be interested in reading another point of view. I'm about to read God's Daughter by Heather Day Gilbert which is set in the tenth century. A review will follow ...

    Thanks for visiting, Siri!

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