Monday, June 29, 2009
Siri Mitchell's Love's Pursuit ~ Reviewed
Love's Pursuit (Paperback)
by Siri Mitchell
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Bethany House; 1 edition (July 1, 2009)
In the small Puritan community of Stoneybrooke, Massachusetts, Susannah Phillips stands out both for her character and beauty. She wants only a simple life but soon finds herself pursued by the town's wealthiest bachelor and by a roguish military captain sent to protect them. One is not what he seems and one is more than he seems.
In trying to discover true love's path, Susannah is helped by the most unlikely of allies, a wounded woman who lives invisible and ignored in their town. As the depth, passion, and sacrifice of love is revealed to Susannah, she begins to question the rules and regulations of her childhood faith. In a community where grace is unknown, what price will she pay for embracing love?
Read the first chapter HERE.
This is an uncomfortable read. It is fabulous story telling, and the themes are ones that need to be told. But it is not warm and fuzzy, and nor does it need to be to be told well. Siri Mitchell is an incredible author and her writing is good. She delves into the harder sides of characters lives and deals with stories that need to be told in a manner where many would just walk away from the pain and hardships. The structure took a bit to get used to and for a while was driving me crazy with jumping from one narrator to another with no hints as to which person's thoughts you were hearing as a reader.
However this book is not all prickles and stings, there are the shimmers of light one needs to grab onto to keep on going. One must grab them though and not let them pass on by. In my opinion, this is one of those stories where after reading it, you do not just get up and go back into a loud world, but you sit and contemplate and let what has been experienced soak in.
Love's Pursuit is a perfect title for this book. Through out you assume things to be one way, yet reading the back cover blurb another, and then as plot thickens and other things change you assume another. Yet to me, in reality, the title is meant in a different frame of view entirely. The first half of this book was a bit for me to trudge through, but I am so glad that I did and I do recommend the book. I recommend when you get to parts that you might want to put it down, that you keep on going, because the gift that you are given by accomplishing this read are well worth your effort.
Reviewed by: Margaret Chind
One of my all time favorite books is Geraldine Brook's Year of Wonders. Siri Mitchell's Love's Pursuit comes close. Both are tragic and horrifying in their raw honesty. Both are beautiful in description and detail, in character, and in ability to transport the reader to a vastly different time and place.
Mitchell has earned her spot in a short list of authors that I'm guaranteed to want to read regardless of the title or subject matter. And Love's Pursuit is not a book I'd pick up based on the title or the cover. A romance this is not, love story, yes. But as we all know a love story is not guaranteed a clean and happily-ever-after ending. Some reviewers have struggled with the back and forth first person point of view and the slower pace. The novel is literary fiction, meant to be absorbed, and if you expect slow going you will probably have less struggle.
The aspects of faith are woven seamlessly into the struggle of the characters' lives. But be warned that the horror of the hardships and brokenness of some characters could be troublesome for sensitive readers. The details of the Puritan life were fascinating. Mitchell, wielding a brush of vivid and stark prose, creates a story full of abuse, sexuality and violence, and paints the lives of a people attempting to create a new Zion or a city of light on a hill, and falling far short.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer