Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Review: At Every Turn by Anne Mateer

Book Cover and Synopsis:
Caught up in a whirlwind of religious fervor when two missionaries speak at her church, Alyce Benson impetuously pledges three thousand dollars to mission work in Africa. She's certain her wealthy father will simply hand her the money. But when he refuses, she must either stand up in front of the congregation and admit failure, or raise the money herself.

Alyce harbors a secret passion for speed and automobiles. It's 1916, and the latest advancements in car engines allow some to post speeds upwards of seventy miles per hour! When she discovers her father's company has sponsored a racing car that will compete in several upcoming events--races in which the driver will be paid and could win as much as five thousand dollars in prize money--she conspires with her father's mechanic, Webster, to secretly train and compete.

But as Alyce comes across needs in her own community, money slips through her fingers faster than she can earn it. And when her friends cast aspersions on Webster's past, she believes she might have trusted the wrong man with her secret. Will Alyce come up with the money in time, or will she have to choose between her promise and the man who holds a piece of her heart?

My Thoughts:
Set in 1916, At Every Turn is a unique historical tale that's written in first person, told solely from Alyce's point of view. I love first person writing, though it's somewhat uncommon in historical fiction.

I wasn't able to completely connect with Alyce...she's likeable enough, but she occasionally seemed just a little bit "too good". Her personality is extremely impulsive, but at the same time she's very determined to meet her goal of raising $3,000 for missions. These two traits come together to put her in some amusing predicaments, which only seem to get worse despite her efforts to rectify things. Her intentions are good, but she has a knack for digging herself a bigger and bigger hole, with no way out!

I really liked Webster (one of the main male leads in the story), and the mystery surrounding his past was intriguing. He holds back any and all details of his past life, which frustrates Alyce, but it ultimately deepens the mystery for the reader. When the details of his former life were finally revealed, I was somewhat surprised, but quite happy with the revelations and the way things turned out.

Overall, I liked Anne Mateer's debut novel Wings of a Dream a bit better, but this was definitely a unique read; it's certainly not just your average everyday story! (I think it would actually make an excellent TV-movie.) I'll be keeping my eye on Anne Mateer, and I'm pretty sure I'll be checking out her next book when it's released!

My Rating: 4 stars
(I received this book courtesy of the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, a positive review was not required.)

1 comment:

  1. Never have read this author. I've got too many to keep up with as it is! LOL! :D