I just finished reading this book, and have to disagree with some of the other reviewers. This book is not explicit at all - it is a somewhat religious based novel with a romance theme, but not a traditional arch plot.
The families in the book are very rich, all the secondary characters are lush and well drawn. You feel you know the orphan kid, the frowning matron, the jealous young lady, the uncle - a whole small town. You want to root for the heroine in her search for a husband, even when it looks futile in such a closed community with her list of candidates.
I'd recommend this book to teens or older readers, although it may appeal more to older readers with the eye on history and the multiple viewpoints of the older folks in the book observing Essie and her actions/outcomes.
I am very much so looking forward to the sequel of this book! Sometimes there are topics that people who have experience certain things are hurting terribly to tell someone to get opinions and help in a way, but the policies of society closes their mouths and keeps them alone in thought. Essie is a girl that is getting to a spinster age and wants nothing to do with it and seeks out herself a husband. Not only is she becoming an old maid at age 30, but she like hats, and gasp rides a bicycle (This is 1894 in Texas). Her first goal for a husband ends up getting baffled, but not before she moves onto desiring a drifter cowboy. This is where confusion and emotions play apart. I would really recommend this book for every girl and woman to read. Even men really. Sometimes you want something so badly that you are willing to break rules to get it, and do not even realize that the rules that you are breaking will take it completely from your grasp as well as effect the rest of your life. Who would imagine that something private you take part in effects everyone you know and love. The basic tells of this story is not of a spinster who looks and searches for her one true love, although that does happen. It is about a woman who wants to be loved so much, and doesn't realize that she already is. Jesus Christ is the one man who will love all no matter what they do, and the hard part in many peoples lives is how we can overlook that fact and get our lives to a ruining stand point before we realize we do not have to go searching just accept.
I recommend this book for anyone. But especially for those who knew me when I was age 16 and 17. This story will explain a lot to them and perhaps render some understanding into what fools we humans can be, but how we can grow and seek the right kind of love.
I've read Deeanne's previous two books and loved them, I felt this book was a bit of a disappointment. I'd have to say it was well-written and the character development was strong, but there was something about the book from the very beginning that failed to draw me into the heroine's plot. There were occasional can't-put-it-down moments, but not the whole book like Gist's previous books.
I do think that this book was a *bit* more explicit than other Christian novels. You still need your imagination to know exactly what is happening, but not much of one. However, I don't think the plot (and the "lesson" of the book) would have advanced as well without some of this.
Overall, it was a decent book to read when there wasn't much else to do. I expect that the next novel out by Deeanne Gist will be very good and that this was more of a blip...
I enjoyed this book very much - the herione, Essie, is someone I could relate to and I rooted for her throughout the entire book. There were good lessons in this book about forgiveness, not only of others but of yourself, and being true to yourself - even when it means that you may not be able to achieve a long cherished dream. Highly recommended.
This was my first book by this author but won't be the last. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. I found it hard to put down as I wanted to find out whom she would eventually marry. It had kind of a surprise ending. I would recommend this book.
I would have given this book 5 stars if it were not for some of the questionable content in this book. Just to provide a Warning: This book contains "personal space" touching and fornication, in my opinion, described with a bit too much detail. I was uncomfortable with it. You may want to keep your young daughters from this so I do not recommend it to any one under 15. The ending is really good but you must read through the other stuff to get there.
Deeanne Gist is one of the most entertaining writers I have come across in a long time. I love her characters as they are complicated and lighthearted at the same time. She researches the time that she is writing about and brings it across with laughter while still making it seem real. Since reading this book I have purchased everyone that she has written so far and cannot wait for her to write her next one. Try this one on for size!
This is a great read! Deeanne Gist is a wonderful author! I have read a number of her books and have never been disappointed. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone...but be forewarned! You will want the sequel to it as soon as you are done with Courting Trouble.
While I agree with some of the other reviewers that this book might be a bit sensual for a conservative or inexperienced person, I LOVED the way this book addressed relationships (male/female, parent/child, and God/child, and with self). Personally, I think the lessons that can be learned in this book far outweigh anything that could be considered too forthright. It's a delicate balance, and I thought Deeanne Gist handled it superbly. And for some girls about to embark on the dating world, it might be good to experience someone else' decisions in a book in order to help make their own decisions before beginning their own relationships.
Made me cry. One of the few books that actually depicts a secret tryst, most only allude to it or the reader finds out after the fact. Definitely reminds one that things were different around 1900. I definitely got a sense of how the church demanded that the leadership be "perfect" in all respects, as well as how in looking at the new things that came along, medicine and church were horrified - not to mention some things that society looked down on. To be fair, though, they still wore corsets... :)
This is a good story and part one of two. The first book I read by Deeanne Gist was 'A Bride In the Bargain' and I loved it. Because I enjoyed it so much I ordered 'Courting Trouble' and 'Deep In the Heart of Trouble'. I'm not as much into it as I was the first one I read but it is still an entertaining story and I do like it. Essis Spreckelmeyer is a uniques woman of her day. Today she might be considered a little odd but not as out of place as she is in her time. She doesn't believe in a simpering, well-behaved, proper life-style for herself, she finds it too confining. I agree with her and although I've never hunted snakes I was a tomboy and I preferred being a tomboy to being a lady. Essie is a character you will love and you'll find yourself rooting for her most of the time. She has her momemts but I guess she deserves them. It is hard to imagine my life being controlled by my parents at the age of 30 but somehow Essie's still is. Oh well, it is a good story, enjoy.
This was the first book my this author but it wont be my last.I loved this book.I couldn't put it down.I even laughed through this book.I read this book every spare minute I had.This was a fun story.You could even relate to the characters.I could even relate to her tomboy ways.
I love just about all of Deeanne Gist's books but this was not one of them. I did not like it that she fell to temptation with an unsavory character. Did not like it that you have to read the sequel to find out if she ever finds true romance. All of her other books deserve five stars but not this one.
This book made me laugh, cry and laugh some more. It was a very heartwarming story of the love that God has for his children. How we are supposed to put Him ahead of all things - even our childhood fantasies and longings.
I generally like this author. She can be a little edgey, so if you're looking for a "sweet" historical fiction, this isn't the book for you.
I was slightly disappointed in this book. I was attracted to the premise (aging spinster who takes matters into her own hands). But I felt she made moral compromises and wasn't grounded in her faith in making her decisions. So I was disappointed in how things were resolved. I don't have a problem with the conclusion, but wish the author had use the conflicts to develop the main character's faith earlier in the book (seemed like she was rushing the changes in the end of the book).
I think the story continues in the next book, and may resolve in a way I like.
This book was an interesting and fun read with some serious situations. Great characters. Essie's first attempt to hook a husband doesn't pan out, but we see how unconventional she is. When Essie brings a snake into the general store to help business there are lol moments. All the youngsters love her. But at 30, Essie desires a husband and family. She's a smart woman, but she's been sheltered all her life. We all make mistakes, but sometimes how we deal with them sets us on a whole different path.
I agree with one of the other reviewers. This book reads like Harlequin Romance Novel. If I wanted to read the details of a sexual experience I would read one of those. The idea may have been impotant to the story line but the details were unnecessary. I liked the ending, it was a good one. If there was a guarantee that her other novels would not include explicit material, I would read another one. Otherwise, I am not interested.
Deanne Gist is a good writer. However, her books are far too sexually descriptive. I would not suggest these books, especially for single women and teen girls. They remind me of the Harlequin Romances I, unfortunately, read 25 years ago. If you are looking for something spiritually uplifting I suggest going elsewhere.