Karen Witemeyer. A Worthy Pursuit. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2015.
In case anyone has been keeping track, it’s been a very busy couple of months here at the Books and Biscuits Blog. It seems as if every week brings several new books that head my way to be read and reviewed. Fortunately, I’m excited to do this work and share my favorite finds with all of you. :)
Karen Witemeyer’s latest novel, A Worthy Pursuit, follows Charlotte Atherton, a teacher at the Sullivan Academy for Exceptional Youth. When the school unexpectedly shuts down, she heads to her family’s home with her adopted daughter, Lily, and two other children who have nowhere else to go. When Lily’s grandfather discovers her disappearance, he sends tracker Stone Hammond across Texas to find his granddaughter and the teacher who stole her away from him. However, Stone never anticipated Charlotte and the legal proof she holds that confirms her guardianship of Lily. In a high-stakes race against time and a series of bounty hunters, Stone and Charlotte take the children on a journey to evade discovery long enough to finally find the evidence required to keep Lily safe for a lifetime.
With a cast of exceptional characters, A Worthy Pursuit stands out as one of Ms. Witemeyer’s most ambitious novels yet. Stone brings the epic hero of nineteenth-century dime novels to life, while Charlotte personifies one of Ms. Witemeyer’s most mature and talented leading ladies. Likewise, the abilities of Charlotte’s students prove that secondary characters can truly make a novel extraordinary in their own right.
Overall, I was exceptionally pleased with A Worthy Pursuit. Ms. Witemeyer consistently depicts independent and intelligent female characters, particularly within her last several novels. Likewise, she presents increasingly complex, outside-the-box stories and subjects that push the boundaries of traditional Christian historical fiction. A Worthy Pursuit relies on Ms. Witemeyer’s ability to develop a fast-paced, yet elaborate, story that feels realistic, while exploring the oftentimes humorous aspects of her characters and their interactions with one another. All together, the novel illustrates the continued evolution of Ms. Witemeyer’s storytelling, while revealing numerous possibilities for further development of characters and settings for use in future novels.
Fans of Ms. Witemeyer’s earlier works will definitely love A Worthy Pursuit. Additionally, readers who enjoy the books of Deeanne Gist and Cathy Marie Hake will particularly appreciate Ms. Witemeyer’s stories and characters. With Ms. Witemeyer’s increasing emphasis on intelligent female characters, fans of Elizabeth Camden may also be curious to try A Worthy Pursuit, as well as Full Steam Ahead. At 352 pages, the novel remains consistent with the length and general style of Ms. Witemeyer’s other novels.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for the advanced copy of A Worthy Pursuit!