Flirtation Walk by Siri Mitchell {book review}


Flirtation Walk by Siri Mitchell {book review}

Historical fiction set at West Point military academy in 1855.  A story of honor, deception, and love.

Flirtation Walk_Design

Summary:  At West Point, only true love should lead you to Flirtation Walk

Lucinda Pennyworth, the daughter of a con man, is trying her best to leave her father’s sordid past behind her. When he dies unexpectedly, she takes the opportunity to move to West Point to live with her aunt, ready to take on a new life and determined to marry a respectable man, a West Point cadet, to impress her relatives.

Scott Westcott, a cadet at the Academy, is proud to be a the top of his senior class. But when his mother dies and his sister loses their inheritance to a swindler, Seth wants nothing more than to head west to track down the con man. But the Army will only send the cadets at the bottom of the class to the frontier… which leaves Seth with some tough choices.

When a woman trying her best to be good meets a man determined to be anything but, can there be hope for love or will two lonely hearts be condemned to casual flirtation?

My Reaction:

I didn’t really like this book for one reason:  God was optional.

That usually indicates the author’s theology.  That’s not to say the author doesn’t believe in God and have a personal relationship with Him.  It is to say the author does not believe God is central to all areas of life — however, this isn’t meant to be a lesson in theology.  I just don’t agree with the author’s viewpoint of life.  And therefore the story is lost.

The book is easy to read.  There is a dual point of view, beautifully, seamlessly done.  The story is character driven, making for a weak plot.  A strong story of faith would make up for the lack of plot.

It’s difficult to comment without giving away the story.  The idea of a cadet at the top of his class choosing to do what he did is far fetched.  But more than being unbelievable, though well-written, and because it is well-written, it is difficult to read.  I don’t know about you, but I gain more from reading stories that teach truth, not error.

I found the prevalence of sinful habits, the use of contraband, while it may be realistic in a military academy, to outweigh the positive acts.  Perhaps, as the author mentions, it would be well to develop this book into a series in order for balancing the good and the bad.

My favorite character was Otter.  Somehow he managed (next to the historic character Major Lee) to have more integrity and honor through the influence of his mother than the other characters combined.

I was disappointed by this book.  It is clean but there are references to activities which are left to the reader’s imagination, in keeping with the theme of being a con artist.  There are too many gray areas in the story for me between right and wrong.

At no point in the reading did I feel an emotion other than anger at the injustice.  If you want to learn about West Point, I recommend this book.  If you’re looking for an uplifting story, encourage the author to write a sequel.

My rating:  2 stars

I received my copy of Flirtation Walk from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Siri MitcellAbout the Author:

Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a speaker and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.

You may wish to visit Siri Mitchell’s website or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @SiriMitchell .

This review can also be found on christianbook.com and Goodreads.

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