I am working on catching up on book reviews. The irony is, the review for this book was written on paper in the front cover, and I found it when I went to loan this book. Oops.
So, with apologies to Siri Mitchell for not posting this on my blog many months ago, here is my review of the wonderful Flirtation Walk.
Trying to escape the shambles her con-man father has made of their reputation, Lucinda Curtis arrives in West Point, New York, determined to land a husband from the military academy. Campbell Conklin is first in his class and preparing to embark upon a storied career in the U.S. Army. Lucinda thinks Campbell will make the perfect husband . . . as long as he does not find out about her father.
Seth Westcott also has taken a liking to Lucinda. He's kind, smart . . . and working extremely hard to graduate last. Tradition states that the worst cadets are assigned to the cavalry out west. And west is where Seth must head to track the swindler who stole all of Seth's mother's money. Seth is smart enough to vie for the top spot, but life isn't fair and this is his chance to catch the man who ruined his family. It's too bad Campbell is all shine and no substance, but Lucinda will surely see through all of that, won't she?
Secrets. Identity. The characters are all dealing with identity issues long before modern psychology was in the picture. Lucinda is wondering if she can change. Can she leave the past behind and forge a new identity? Can Seth lose his first place standing and get to the bottom to win the assignment in the wild west? And can their mutual attraction survive their attempts to change their very identities, or is it merely pretense?
I found myself intrigued long after I finished the novel by the idea that change can indeed be wrought, but often at a great price. True change must begin in the heart, and by God. Yet there is something to be said about masks and personality shifts. The core of our personalities: can they change? Should we try? These are not easy questions.
The novel is intriguing and the characters are multilayered and complex, as are all of Siri Mitchell's characters. No stock characters here. No predictable plot, either. She remains one of my favorite authors in the Christian market, mainly because her books make me think. And what more do we want from good literature?
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