Hi lovely blog readers! I’m excited to share a book review with you today. This isn’t an ordinary book review, though…it’s the first ARC I’ve ever received, and I am geeking out about it! For those of you who aren’t aware, ARC stands for “Advance Reader Copy,” which is basically copies of books that are sent out before their release date to be reviewed. I requested one from Blogging For Books, and they were kind enough to send me a copy of this one!
About the Book
Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.
Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year.
When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?
I really enjoyed this book! I’m glad it was featured on Blogging For Books, because I would likely have not found it otherwise. I found that I liked Carrie Turansky’s writing style quite a lot. She writes in third person, which is my favorite, and alternates between the two main characters’ perspectives smoothly. Although the perspective often switches several times per chapter, I was seldom confused as to who was speaking: there’s always a paragraph break in between, which I appreciated. I’m not always a fan of dual narrators, but I liked it in this book, as you could see where each character was coming from.
I found myself liking the characters a lot. Isabella was my favorite, especially as I could relate to her dream of becoming a writer. However, she has it a lot harder than I will, because women rarely became journalists in the 1900s. I admired her ambition. It was also fascinating to see how journalism worked in the previous century, with Bella and her father actually having to travel to France to interview several pilots. No such thing as phone interviews back then. 🙂
When they visited France, there was a bit of French-speaking, which is always fun for me as a French major. 🙂 I always like when authors don’t come right out and translate the languages, even when I have no idea what the characters are saying: it just makes it more realistic. (Have no fear with this book, though: it’s still easy to tell what’s happening.)
I thought Bella and James were an endearing couple. They seem to complement each other quite well, and they’re supportive of each other’s dreams, which is really nice to read. Their relationship is built on friendship first, rather than them merely lusting after each other, which makes it much more sustainable than most of the fictional relationships out there. And they’re really sweet together.
There were only a few things I wasn’t a huge fan of. I wasn’t particularly interested in James’s family scandal and the investigating that happened – I was much more interested in the present day. I didn’t find myself overly invested in that subplot. The plot is also rather slow-moving, which definitely makes sense for the subject matter, but it did make me get bored in parts. It took me about a month to finish this book, because I kept getting distracted with other things. However, I really enjoyed it once I finished it, it just took me a little longer than usual.
This book is definitely not my typical genre: it’s a historical Christian romance. I wanted to give it a try because I don’t like racy books, and I felt confident assuming this would not be one of those. As I thought, it turned out to be a nice relaxing read. It never made me anxious and there is essentially no objectionable content, which is always nice. It’s something I would be comfortable recommending to just about anyone.
Rating: 4/5 stars