Friday, November 16, 2012

At Every Turn - by Anne Mateer

In At Every Turn, Alyce Benson has a heart for God, and when she's presented with the situation of starving children in Africa who need to hear His Word, she immediately rises to the occasion and pledges a large sum of money to the missionaries returning to serve them.  The only problem is that she had counted on her father granting her request, as he has every request before now.  When her father learns of the purpose for the money, he refuses, and Alyce is left having made a promise that she doesn't know how to fulfill.  Additionally, she has asked the people of the church to match her generous offering and can no longer count on them to assist her in raising her half.  What Alyce does have is a skill few women of her era possess, the ability to drive and to drive fast.  She and her mechanic, Webster, concoct a scheme to race incognito and to use the earnings to raise her donation amount.  But can Alyce trust Webster, who has shared very little of his past with her?  And what of her seeming suitor, Mr. Trotter?  Is he as godly and trustworthy as he seems?

I loved the idea of Alyce's character - a woman in the early 1900s going against the norm of the day and developing her own passion in a male-dominated pastime.  I loved that she wasn't interested in just going along with her mother's plans to "marry well."  Yet, the independent thinking that would develop that sort of character and hobby didn't seem to jive well with her inherent trust of Mr. Trotter and her naivete in trusting others opinions.  Her fear of gossip and scandal also seemed inconsistent with the life she wanted to live.

My favorite characters turned out to be rather minor in terms of storyline, but very important in Alyce's life.  Her grandmother, blind and mostly bedridden, was such a source of accountability to Alyce, and I loved the spiritual legacy she was passing on to Alyce.  Webster Little was a man of mystery, but his character seemed much more consistent about his hidden secrets, and the revelation of his history at the end of the book fit with what we'd been told about him.  I really enjoyed the interactions between Alyce and Webster, and was eager for them to know the truth about each other.

Alyce's determination to help the children in Africa was admirable, and her continued efforts to raise the money while simultaneously being able to hold on to it when faced with the needs of others was humorous and honest.  Her desire to serve God and to find His call for her life made her an admirable character, even while I wanted her to be stronger in the rest of her life.

I give this book 3 stars.  There were definite positives to the book, but I would have liked my main character stronger in her decisions and actions.

You can find the book HERE.
The author's website is HERE.

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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