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Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2007
|Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Ladies of Liberty
Complicating all this is Garrett Wilson. His family has partnered with the Stanleys for many years in the shipping business, and Garrett has known Mia from when she was a child. Ever since then, she has been trying to marry him off to some friend of hers; he has, in turn, cared for like a little sister. Fiercely protective of Mia, Garrett cant bring himself just to let her do as she would like among the sailors wivesespecially when the situation spirals out of control and Mia starts putting herself in physical danger. As Garretts feelings toward Mia start to change, Mia throws herself more passionately into the battle for the rights of the sailors wives, even though it may cost her everything.
A Lady of High Regard, unfortunately, did not manage to earn very much of my regard. Aside from feeling like a Christianized re-write of Jane Austens Emma, several other things about the book fell rather flat, starting with the characters. Mia and Garrett seem little more than cardboard cutouts. Both are attractive, young, well-bred, and perfectly mannered. Mia is the traditional sprightly heroine, and Garrett plays a proper gentleman to balance her. The addition of an unusual hobby for Miaher writing and her involvement with the sailors wiveshelps make her a bit more real, but its sadly not enough. Also tripping the story up are Mias modern attitudes and actions, as she fails to act like a lady of her time; thankfully, these do form a plot point and are, thus, not wholly out of place.
Nothing is remarkable about Petersons writing style, either. The dialogue is slightly formal, though appropriate to the era. The ending feels contrived, rather a deus ex machina. The romance develops quite slowly; it takes Garrett half the book even to realize that he might like Mia, and it takes her even longer to reciprocate. However, this isnt a real problem if the book is first in a series, as the cover seems to hint.
Petersons great strength is her ability to research an era and incorporate that research into a story. That, she does flawlessly. The quality of research and depth of knowledge shines as she draws the reader into pre-Civil War Philadelphia. However, her timeframe is a bit shaky, as it required me actually to work out the math to figure when the book is set. Christianity is prominent through A Lady of High Regard which is another advantage of the book. While the characters may be rather flat, they are not sanitized Christians. Both Mia and Garrett are shown making hard choices and turning to God for guidance, especially as Garretts family faces its own crisis.
Overall, A Lady of High Regard is a decent book. It suffers from flat characters and a tired story, but it does entertain, paint an era, and provide a strong Christian message. I would moderately recommend it to women, especially those who already like Tracie Petersons work or those looking for an acceptable historical romance. Rachel Niehaus, Christian