First of all, I was fully aware this was a Christian-themed novel and I was fine with that, as I haven't found majority of the Christian novels very preachy lately. Normally, they are just wonderful, spunky heroines facing and overcoming obstacles with a clean romance on the side. This one, however, was a tad preachy, and I found the message hard to discern as I didn't feel the judgmental, overly pious, close-minded characters to be very good examples of what a Christian should be.
Maybe that was the point.
But while I enjoyed Laura's story and parts and reading about all the different problems a steamboat faced as it went up and down the rivers--scarcity of wood, sandbars...I could totally and completely have done without Fiona and Adela. I loathed both characters and while the theme of not assuming the worst and being quick to judge was clear, I didn't feel their bits added enough. Laura's realizing what she was doing was strong; these two horrid women, no.
Had the book eliminated them completely, I'd have been a happy camper. Fiona...wow. You don't get more close-minded and uptight than her and Adela is just a spoiled brat who I can't say redeemed herself in my eyes really. She's a user.
Again, last time I'll say it: I hated Fiona and Adela and all their scenes and this ruined half the story for me.
I also grew tired of the anti-drinking theme. Frankly, I'm a firm believer that if a man or woman works hard all week long, they are entitled to get--excuse me--sh*t faced here and there!!! The book made it seem like anyone who dares to enter a saloon is a bad seed and sinful. I wanted to tell them to get over themselves and, "I'd like to see you not have a drink or two after dealing with this, this, and that."
But I did like Laura and her struggle to get her pilot's license and get up and down the river and honor her family. I really did. We could learn a thing or two from her, us women. To stand up for what we want in the face of adversity and discrimination. WE CAN DO IT.
Favorite LOL moment:
He scowled at her. "Unless, of course, you have another addendum you'd like added? Tea and crumpets served mid-examination, perhaps?
"Oh, no, sir," Laura said, as she rose from her chair. "It's all very satisfactory. I've never cared for tea and crumpets, anyway."
I received this via Netgalley.