22 June 2015

Review: A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer

Larger than Life

A Worthy Pursuit is larger than life in more ways than one. Miss Charlotte Atherton is happy in her role as headmistress of Sullivan’s Academy for Exceptional Youths in Austin, Texas—at least until Dr Sullivan announces the school is closing. The students will be returned to their families … including Lily Dorchester, an orphan for whom Charlotte is the legal guardian. So she does what any sensible 28-year-old woman would to in 1891: she kidnaps Lily and two other parentless students and takes them to a remote farm where she hopes they won’t be found.

Stone Hammond is the best retriever in Texas—he always gets his man. Or, in this case, his girl. He’s been hired to find little Lily Dorchester, who was kidnapped by her teacher. Only when he finds her, he finds the teacher claims she is Lily’s legal guardian, and she has the papers to prove it. Awkward. The two settle on an uneasy truce while Stone looks into Charlotte’s claim, and he finds the whole experience unexpected: the relationship Charlotte has with the children, the unique talents each child has, and his reaction to Charlotte. Especially his reaction to Charlotte.

I’ve enjoyed every single Karen Witemeyer book I’ve read, and this one is no exception. The only problem with her books is that she doesn’t write them fast enough – it’s usually the best part of a year between releases. Her plots and characters are both excellent, and she manages to inject a lot of humour into her novels without ever going over-the-top or descending into cliché or cringe. His is illustrated by one of my favourite lines out of A Worthy Pursuit:
Shoot. He could fit what he knew about women in a bullet casing and still have room for the gunpowder.
Despite the light humour, this was also a story of two wounded adults doing their best to follow God and protect the children in their charge from similar wounds. While the Christian aspects of the novel weren’t overpowering, they were powerful:
There are few guarantees in this life. The few that do exist come from God.

Overall, an excellent novel. Recommended for fans of historical fiction from authors such as Jen Turano and Carol Cox.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

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