Funny, Sad and Uplifting Historical Romance
Seth Westcott is the top cadet in his year at West Point Military Academy, a rank which sees him destined for a coveted position in the Corps of Engineers. When he finds his sister has been swindled of the money from the sale of their family farm, he decides a cavalry posting out West would be a better idea . . . somewhere he can protect his sister, and hunt down the swindler. To do that, he’s going to have to become an Immortal—ranked at the bottom of the class.
When Miss Lucinda Pennyworth’s father dies, she goes to stay with family in Buttermilk Falls, near the military academy where her uncle lectures. Here she learns that some of what her father told her over the years wasn’t true, and she begins to question the values he raised her with, and his views on the military . . . and on God.
Lucinda finds herself having to learn a new set of rules, rules in which she considers others and doesn’t do everything to best meet her own needs, but considers the needs of others and the lessons mistakes can sometimes teach us. It’s not an easy journey, especially as many of her father’s philosophies and sayings are as real in 2016 as they were for Lucinda in 1855:
“Most people are waiting for someone to give them hope. If you can do that, then they’re more than happy to give you their money in exchange.”
That might be true, but it doesn’t make it right. Lucinda also learns she doesn’t have to look and be perfect all the time:
“I would think that would be tiring, trying to make sure you were perfect all the time.”
Perhaps. But even today many people fall into the trap of believing that it’s enough to look perfect and behave properly, that our underlying motivations and beliefs are less important than the image we project. (Social media doesn’t help this perception, when people curate their lives to only show the nice bits). While this isn’t necessarily a Christian message, it’s still a strong message, one worth thinking about, and Flirtation Walk did it well. I’ve found some of Siri Mitchell’s novels push a theme at the expense of the story, but this didn’t.
I liked the way Flirtation Walk emphasised that God is a god of love, not rules, but I would have liked to have seen the characters show some faith in God, rather than merely attending church (which seemed to be more of doing the right thing). But I did like the overall theme about the balance between obeying the rules and doing the right thing.
Thanks to Baker Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.