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Sunday, October 08, 2006

My review of The Measure of a Lady by Deeanne Gist

I'm completely envious of the author's liberties in writing fiction. I loved her first book A Bride Most Begrudging , but in some ways I think I like this book even more. Not necessarily because it's more interesting. I think Bride takes first place in that regard. However, to me The Measure of a Lady stands out because of the underlying message.

While Lady had some less than stellar moments, overall I found it quite enthralling. I enjoyed the subtle undertones (and sometimes not-so-subtle) of self-righteous thinking, and how the author made the scenarios quite exceptional and thought-provoking. The author beautifully illustrated how fallout can occur when appearances take precedence over people and relationships.

I enjoyed how the author laid out the issues and debated them within the context of the gold rush in 19th-century San Francisco. I also enjoyed Rachel's moral dilemmas. To serve or not to serve...and just how should a Christian serve? How does a lady determine when to avoid any appearance of evil, and when to not even eat with sinners--and then on the flip side...When to reach out to the fallen in love and genuine concern with the hopes of blessing any of those who will listen. And what about forgiveness?

For me this story was much more than a romance (though I do adore how Gist shows the honest thoughts of virile men--something often sorely lacking in most Christian fiction.) Oh, and to my relief the heroine had a desperate attraction/strong feelings for the hero. Thank you Deeanne for showing that women have feelings and drives as well--that it's not just a masculine trait.

That poor heroine Rachel had read that women generally didn't have sexual feelings for men and if they did there was something wrong with them. How sad, yet pervasive was that teaching in the 1800s. Oh, and the scene at the beach! What a sizzler. I loved Rachel's epiphany and I thought the ending was beautiful. I really enjoyed the story and highly recommend it for readers who want a story with an inspirational message but that isn't so sterile that it seems unrealistically pure. Enjoy!

The Measure of a Lady was published by Bethany House Publishers and released in May 2006.


Sharlene MacLaren said...

Awesome review of "Lady". Now I see why you do the reviews and just read and/or write. All the things you mentioned are so true, but I never thought of them in that light. Your review made me realize why I enjoyed the book so much! I still enjoyed "Bride" better, though, but again, I'm not sure why...just that I did.

So Many Books.... said...

I'm looking forward to reading 'Lady'. =)

Dee said...

Michelle, what a great review!

This is Dee Stewart. We met at ACFW Conference. I'm running through all the business cards I received. And I love your blog.

Deanne is a great author. And I so agree with your thoughts about women being more believable in inspirational romantic fiction. As a Christy Judge for that category I put a great deal of weight on character. Deanne's womens' characters remind me of Thomas Hardy, so it is believable for the time period.

Great site.

Gospelfiction dot com

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