Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Review and CFBA Tour: Courting Miss Amsel by Kim Vogel Sawyer

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Courting Miss Amsel
Bethany House (January 1, 2011)
Kim Vogel Sawyer
Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren.

Edythe Amsel is delighted with her first teaching assignment: a one-room schoolhouse in Walnut Hill, Nebraska. Independent, headstrong, and a strong believer in a well-rounded education, Edythe is ready to open the world to the students in this tiny community. But is Walnut Hill ready for her?

Joel Townsend is thrilled to learn the town council hired a female teacher to replace the ruthless man who terrorized his nephews for the past two years. Having raised the boys on his own since their parents' untimely deaths, Joel believes they will benefit from a woman's influence. But he sure didn't bargain on a woman like Miss Amsel.

Within the first week, she has the entire town up in arms over her outlandish teaching methods, which include collecting leaves, catching bugs, making snow angels, and stringing ropes in strange patterns all over the schoolyard. Joel can't help but notice that she's also mighty pretty with her rosy lips, fashionable clothes, and fancy way of speaking.

When Edythe decides to take her pupils to hear Miss Susan Anthony speak on the women's suffrage amendment, the town's outcry reaches new heights. Even Joel isn't sure he can support her newfangled ideas any longer. And if he can't trust her to know how to teach the boys, how can he trust her with his heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Courting Miss Amsel, go HERE.

A schoolmarm bent on new ideas and a town slow in coming around this story is filled with the classic characters, warm hearted moments and depth of faith that Sawyer is known to bring to her fiction.
I thought setting and character wise this story was an enjoyable read. It has all the qualities of a prairie romance with hard working characters and their love for the land and each other. But it moves beyond “mere” sweet romance, taking on issues of that day of age, faith and the difficulties of what it takes to go against the grain.
I did think the pacing a bit slow. The plot continually moved forward, but as far as the expediency with which it moved, it could have been a bit shorter of a novel. It just didn’t quite keep my attention the entire time- I think it came down to timing and not quite as much “action” as I like.
I still enjoyed the characters, the struggles Edythe went through and the growth she made. I liked the romantic tension between her and Joel and what kept them apart. And I liked the growth Edythe made as a person. The characters are once again well done, their relationships kept me reading.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.


  1. A schoolmarm! I'll have to keep this in mind for when my TBR piles gets smaller. Thanks for the review!

  2. You are welcome Renee. :) Thanks for visiting!


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According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

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