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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My review of A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman.

Book Description:

Refusing to settle for anything less than a romantic relationship that pleases God, Faith O'Connor steels her heart against her desire for the roguish Collin McGuire. But when Collin tries to win her sister Charity's hand, Faith is not sure she can handle the jealousy she feels. To further complicate matters, Faith finds herself the object of Collin's affections, even as he is courting her sister. The Great War is raging overseas, and a smaller war is brewing in the O'Connor household.

My review:

This is moving to the top of my list of favorite books of all time. It's packed with romantic tension, and emotional and spiritual passion. It made me crazy as I wasn't sure what I wanted them to do and my feelings were all over the place. I did enjoy the ending, though. It was very satisfying and I cried through the last three chapters or so. Don't read ahead if you get this book. It'll spoil the joy and wonder of the story for you. I was tempted to do that several times (which I never do) because I so desperately wanted to know who Faith ended up with, but I was good and I'm glad I didn't peek.

What an emotional roller coaster ride! I got whiplash from the plot twists and the changing of the tides. My heart soared and plummeted along with Faith. I could not stop reading this book and hauled it with me everywhere. It's long (like 480 pages) but I wouldn't cut a thing. Everything is relevant and important to the story. I'll admit that I was extremely curious about this book after reading an article that said it was overly sensual. I disagree. Just because you are in her head and her thoughts are honest doesn't make it sensual. A lot of author's can write about kissing but most aren't daring enough to write the honest thoughts in a heroine's head. That's what this author did that was so fabulous. If she took out the internal thoughts she would remove the alleged sensuality, but then the passion is squeezed from the story and it would be a dry scene with description, but no life. I loved this story. It's daringly innovative and the most fabulous debut I've ever read. Plus, the historical portion of the novel was well done, too. I felt like I was there!

One last thought...I see this as a clearly Christian novel in that the emphasis is that having passion for God is what makes a marriage a beautiful, solid, and holy union and anything less than that is robbing you of the joy you could experience if you loved within the boundaries God set. It's a very strong message but done naturally and through the story. It feels real. I knew men like Collin who were insanely jealous of a woman's relationship with God and how they said they felt like they were competing with Him. Without the love of Christ in our hearts we are truly deprived of the most intimate love their is. This story delivers that message with such perfection I want every woman who has not married yet to read this book! It would save a lot of heartache if women trusted God in regards to their marriage partner. He wants marriage to be an example of his love for us and that cannot exist in a marriage without Him at the center.

Before you judge this book you need to read it for yourself. Initially I struggled with the number of POVs but once I got into the story I see how important that was for the author to include so many. Bravo!

A Passion Most Pure is published by Revell/Baker Publishing and will be released in January 2008.


Mary Connealy said...

I have been waiting forever for this book to come out. Great review, Michelle and now I want it more than ever.

Myra Johnson said...

I'm with Mary--jealous as ever that reviewers are already getting to read this book and the rest of us have to wait. Julie, this is success well deserved. God knew what He was doing when He called you to write. And I'm so glad He brought you into my life as a friend!

Julie Lessman said...

Mary and Myra, you guys are the best, both as Seeker friends and writers! Thank you for your kind words. I love you guys!


Jenny said...

As one of Julie's crit partners, I can tell you Michelle is right spot on. This book is a great read and the characters will stay with you long after the last sentence. And the best news, there are more books coming.

Janet Dean said...

Michelle's wonderful review will draw lots of readers to Julie's wonderful book!!!! I cannot wait to read Passion Most Pure!!!

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks so much, Jen and Janet, for your sweet comments!

Jenny, you and ACFW Crit #19 were invaluable to me in the early stages of this book -- thank you!

And, Janet, I can't wait to get my copy, either!! Something about holding that first book in your hands...which YOU will be finding out come Sept. 2008, when your baby "Courting Miss Adelaide" hits the stands -- can't wait for that either!

Anonymous said...

now this sounds like a book l want to read Percy

Julie Lessman said...

Hi Percy,

Thank you very much, and I'd love your feedback once you do, so let me know, okay?


Abi said...

This looks like my kind of book romance. I love the cover.

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