Monday, October 21, 2013

Review: Operation Bonnet by Kimberly Stuart

Book Cover and Synopsis:
Twenty-year-old Nellie Monroe has a restless brilliance that makes her a bit of an odd duck. She wants to be a private investigator, even though her tiny hometown offers no hope of clients.
Until she meets Amos Shetler, an Amish dropout carrying a torch for the girl he left behind. So Nellie straps on her bonnet and goes undercover to get the dish.
But though she’s brainy, Nellie is clueless when it comes to real life and real relationships. Soon she’s alienated her best friend, angered her college professor, and botched her case. Operation Bonnet is a comedy of errors, a surprising take on love, and a story of grace.

My source for book: Personal library
My Thoughts:
A few years ago I became tired of the deluge of Amish fiction, and now it takes something with an extremely unique perspective to get me to pick up an Amish-related book. Operation Bonnet certainly fits the bill of "unique", but I didn't realize just how off-the-wall it would be!

Nellie is eccentric, to say the least, and I have to admire the creativity of the mind that dreamed her up! She is just totally off-the-wall, with sarcastic and snarky comments aplenty. I appreciate good sarcasm, but some of hers was too close to crude (unkind, not dirty) for my taste.... still, at other times I was quite humored by her take on things. At 20 years old Nellie is still somewhat immature, causing her to make some less-than-great choices (especially in her detective work), but I do have to say that I really admired how well she handled the difficulties in her personal life of caring for her aging grandmother.

I really, really liked Amos and what he brought to the story. He is funny without even intending to be, with his misuses of pop-culture references and a somewhat stiff (but humorous) way of speaking. The contrast between him and Nellie is great, resulting in some very amusing conversations. But putting the humor aside, I also really appreciated the unique perspective Amos has on things that are commonplace to the English (non-Amish people, like you and me). After one of Nellie's flippant sarcastic remarks, Amos easily replies "Do not be ill-tempered." I was really struck by how common it is for people to be "ill-tempered", sometimes without even realizing it. It certainly made me think about how I might come across to others.

It wasn't until I was a third, or maybe even closer to half-way through, that I really started to get into the story and plot. Nellie's personality was just so loud (and jarring, dare I say?) that it took me a while to become accustomed to her....but once I did, I ended up enjoying the story. The diversity between Nellie and the Amish is huge, and for me it served as a great reminder to try looking at things in my life from a different perspective. Overall I did enjoy the book, and I would certainly recommend it if you're looking for something different from your normal genre.

My Rating: 4 stars

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