Smitten with the Smitten Series: A Review of Smitten Book Club
Having read the other two books in the Smitten series (Smitten and Secretly Smitten), I was eager to delve into the newest book, Smitten Book Club. This book, like the other two in the series, is the work of four brilliant authors: Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter. Each author penned a novella for the book, and the four authors did a beautiful job of intertwining the stories. I've read novella collections before that just seem to skip over all the other stories' main characters except for maybe one or two references. Although each author wrote one character's love story, the individual authors stayed true to the other ladies' characterization. I really enjoyed seeing how the characterization of all of the ladies was portrayed in all four of the stories, and it helped me get to know the characters even better. For instance, Molly's stories is last. Therefore, by the time I got to the last story, I really felt like I knew Molly since I had been reading about her from the very first story. I also enjoyed seeing some of the characters from the other Smitten books. Another element that I felt kept the continuity throughout this book was the mention of the Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship. This fictitious book was written by a Smitten native, Pearl Chambers, who lived three generations before the main characters in the stories. The women in each of the novellas take turns reading through the book because they believe that the book holds clues to where gold is hidden. Because this courtship book was an important part of each individual novella, it held the storyline together as an intricately woven thread. Additionally, the fact that each of the women knew each other from their book club connects the characters, connects the storylines, and connects each individual story.
The individual stories were hard to put down. Maybe it's because they are novellas, so they delve right into the story line and move quickly or maybe it's just because I found the authors' writing interesting, but it didn't take me long at all to read through Smitten Book Club. Not only did I find each individual story compelling, but I also wanted to keep reading to find out if any of the ladies ever found the gold for which they were looking. I loved each story, but it left me wanting more from all four of the authors. I hope another Smitten book is in the works!
"Consider that your beau is like a coveted novel whose compelling first lines you’ve just begun to read.” —A Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship
At a rummage sale, Heather, a member of the Fireside Book Club, discovers a turn-of-the-century romantic advice book written by a once-famous Smitten, Vermont, resident. When she shares the precious volume with her friends in the club, they find clues about a hidden treasure rumored to be buried in their tiny town.
As Heather, Abby, Lia, and Molly take turns reading the book, each projects onto it her own literary tastes. Heather sees it as a mystery. Abby discovers delicious dashes of Jane Austen. Lia sees in it the idealism of a bygone day. And Molly just wishes they'd made the book into a movie!
One by one, each of the women finds romantic love—often in spite of the historic book’s advice. And in searching for the legendary gold, the friends discover the best kind of treasure. The kind that brings hope and healing to each of their hearts.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”