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|Title: A Proper Pursuit
By: Lynn Austin
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2007
|Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 (inches)
Weight: 16 ounces
Stock No: WW228919
Austin tells the tale completely from Violets perspective, describing events as they happen. This becomes a little confusing, due to the amount of people and situations the heroine is introduced to, but also adds more depth to Violets point of view and is worth it in the end. The characters in the story are varied and interesting, and though they develop and become more complex as the book moves along, the bonds between them do seem rather weak and fragile, usually with nothing but society or family ties holding them together. The few exceptions are the relationships between Violet and Mr. McClure, and Violet and her mother. In fact, the most memorable scene in the book occurs when Violet finally locates her mother, and discovers just how much the worlds cruelty has affected all of their lives.
At the beginning of A Proper Pursuit the plot is rather simple, with Ms. Hayes seeking out her runaway mother in Chicago. But as time and events progress, Violet finds herself with a line of suitors she must choose from before the months end, which complicates her life just a little. More than that, she must decide what standards she will live by for the rest of her life: societys, Gods, her familys, or her own. In the end, she chooses to live out her own heart instead of her familys, to change society instead of being controlled by it, and to honor God by being herself.
Although the headstrong Violet begins the book as an incredibly naïve character, she grows and blooms throughout the story in a very realistic way. She is the only truly dynamic person in the bookall of the others are used to represent the different forces that are pulling and pushing on her as she makes her decisions. A good example of this is shown in her four primary suitors: Silas, who symbolizes her own desires; Herman, who is an example of her familys wishes for her; Louis, who is the churchs will for her life; and Nelson, who is societys choice.
The only element that bothered me about Austins book was the mystery surrounding Silas McClure. In the beginning it fit everything very well, but the average reader will figure out who he is by the middle of the story, and Violets inability to see what is obvious until the end becomes rather annoying. But, all in all, I very much enjoyed A Proper Pursuit, and would recommend it to any reader who wants a light and romantic story. -- Kate R. Miller, Christian Book Previews.com
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