Favorites Friday Book Review: A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin

Posted May 22, 2015 by meezcarrie in 5 stars, Book Review, Christian, Favorites Friday, historical, Lynn Austin, romance / 1 Comment

A Proper Pursuit book review

A Proper Pursuit by Lynn AustinA PROPER PURSUIT by Lynn Austin
GENRE: Historical Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: September 1, 2007
PAGES: 491

The World’s Fair.
Chicago, 1893.

It seems a perfect backdrop for what Violet Hayes longs to experience: a little mystery, a little romance.

To be honest, it is more than a little mystery. She schemed her way to Chicago to discover the mother she barely remembered. As for romance…well, with the help of her grandmother and three great aunts, that is coming along nicely as well–perhaps too well. Each of her relatives–including her saintly grandmother–seems to have a separate agenda for her.

In the course of a summer, Violet’s world will open wide before her eyes. But in the wake of discovery, she must find a way to determine which path–and which man–will ultimately be the right lifetime choice for her.

A Christy Award Winner


A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin sweeps you into the world of 1893 Chicago – the World’s Fair, D.L. Moody & his yokefellows, suffragettes, high society balls, Jane Addams’ Hull House. A constant dichotomy of wealth & self-centeredness on the one hand and poverty & self-preservation on the other. Into this paradox of life lands Violet Hayes – running from what her father has planned for her only to find herself escaping to 4 women (her grandmother and 3 elderly aunts) who have very specific plans for her as well.  While she’s fending off everyone’s well-intentioned schemes, Violet also desperately wants to solve the mystery of her mother’s disappearance.

During the summer she spends with her 4 aging relatives, Violet’s once-limited view of life slowly expands as she experiences settings & situations & people she would never have met otherwise. Her heart waffles between 4 different men – each with their own positives and negatives – but is the man she really prefers the one she should stay the farthest from?

I have read several books by Lynn Austin and four of her novels are counted among my favorites: Candle in the Darkness, A Proper Pursuit, Wonderland Creek, and A Light to My Path. What makes this such a testament to Ms. Austin’s talent and diversity of imagination is the fact that these four books were all so different from each other! Written in different time periods (except for Candle and Light which are part of the same series, set during the Civil War), in different parts of the United States, with completely different character types who have distinct “accents” and behaviors and personalities.  You all know what I mean when I say that some authors, even ones whose books you adore, write pretty much the same kinds of books each time. The plot may be different and the characters of course are different – but nothing about the style is drastically altered from one book to the next. This is not the case for Lynn Austin, and I can say that each book is excellent and I highly recommend any of her works for your reading pleasure! Start with my favorites if you get overwhelmed.

Bottom Line: A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin is one of my top 5 go-to books when I want to smile. I would LOVE to see this book made into a movie. It just begs to be played out on screen, complete with narration so as not to lose the delightful voice in which Ms. Austin writes.  I normally don’t even like novels written in first person but I would always make an exception to this preference if they were written like this book. So entertaining and captivating – very Anne-of-Green-Gables-ish but with very much the author’s own twist and personality. I laughed out loud often while reading A Proper Pursuit, many times just from Violet’s thoughts expressed in the narrative voice. Along with being such a delightful book to read, A Proper Pursuit kept me guessing until the end … and then surprised me! I read A LOT as I’ve mentioned before – it’s not often that a book catches me off guard with a twist that I didn’t see coming, but this one did.

(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book from my own purchased collection. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / in a class by itself!

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

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Lynn Austin

Lynn Austin has sold more than one and a half million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full-time, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into an Original Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home in western Michigan. Learn more at www.lynnaustin.org.

What about you? What makes you want to read A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin?

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