My Review of A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano

July 4, 2013

A Most Peculiar CircumstanceI must admit that the catchy title and cover enticed me to read this book, which promised something different, maybe even peculiar. I was ready for something different. I was not disappointed in that regard.

As an active, outspoken suffragette, Arabella Beckett has traveled all over the country for her cause, and on occasion she’s gotten herself into a bit of trouble. Particularly with gentlemen who believed that women belong in the home, having children, taking care of their husbands, and keeping their opinions to themselves.

Fiercely independent, Arabella does not readily accept aid from the opposite sex. However, there are times when it becomes necessary. Like when one finds herself in jail. Although a handsome private investigator shows up to rescue her from her predicament, calamity doesn’t end there. Arabella and Theodore are about as opposite as sugar and garlic.

I ordinarily write a “Meet the Characters” review of books, but in this case, A Most Peculiar Circumstance has a plethora of characters which I found confusing at times trying to keep up with who’s who. I did, however, enjoy the book, though I tromped through some of it thinking, there’s an awful lot of dialogue in this book–way more than what’s typical. Yet the dialogue did provide a good feel for the personalities of the characters. After all, isn’t that how we form opinions about the people we meet?

Nevertheless, there are some mildly suspenseful parts, a few interesting twists, and the predicted “happily ever after” ending. I appreciated the wit and humor sprinkled throughout.

The premise of the story is good in that the heroine, a woman of faith, learns some things about herself that we should all examine in our own lives. Do we have a feeling of superiority and look down upon the less fortunate, even as we try to help them? Is that how God wants us to feel about them? And, is God’s plan for our lives always what we think it is?

I give this book three stars for entertainment. I think I’d have rated it higher if setting were more clearly defined, and had it gone deeper into the reality of life for women in the 1800’s and how it related to Biblical teaching.

 

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