Friday, January 14, 2011

Book Review: Courting Miss Amsel

Courting Miss Amsel. Kim Vogel Sawyer. 2011. Bethany House. 346 pages.

This certainly isn't the way I imagined it.

Set in Walnut Hill, Nebraska, in 1882, Courting Miss Amsel is about the story of a young woman's first teaching job. When the year begins, Miss Amsel--Miss Edythe Amsel--is so enthusiastic, so passionate, about her new job. She's thrilled to have this opportunity. But. The job isn't without its challenges--as you can imagine.

Chances are if you've read a "teacher" book in the past--in the historical fiction genre--you know what to expect. You probably expect a single man (either an uncle or a widower) raising children on his own (usually boys, though not always) to fall head over heels with the new school teacher. How wonderful that this beautiful woman has such a big heart, that she has already taken a liking to his children. How great it would be if she could mother them full-time. But. The path to love--even in these types of books--rarely comes easily. You probably expect there to be one student-an older boy--who just doesn't get it, who thinks his job is to bully the new teacher out of town. Add in a few uncooperative parents and there you have it.

Courting Miss Amsel does not disappoint. I, for one, don't mind predictability. Not when it means another chance for a satisfying read. If I love a formula--really love a formula--then I don't mind reading it again and again and again.

While I didn't love Miss Amsel--a bit too stubborn for me--I did enjoy her story--her romance. I liked the romantic hero, Joel Townsend. I liked his two nephews, Robert and Johnny. I liked Mrs. Kinley, Miss Amsel's landlady. I liked many of the people in town--though not all of them. Courting Miss Amsel may not be for every reader, but I certainly enjoyed it!

© 2011 Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible


Unknown said...

This was my first Kim Vogel Sawyer book, and I know I'll be reading many more in the future. This was a VERY good book! :o)

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I am not a fan of romance reads - but occasionally I find one I like. It was fun to read your thoughts on this.