Thursday, March 17, 2011

Courting Trouble by Deeanne Gist

Bethany House (June 1, 2007) 336 pages

Essie Spreckelmeyer loves her hats, her snakes and her bicycle--Peg, for short. But the one thing she wants to love, but can't, is a husband. The year of her thirtieth birthday, Essie creates a list of potential husbands to catch...but the catching, and the unintended consequences thereof, might cause her more trouble than it's worth.

My Review:

Just a warning.....This review will contain a mid-point SPOILER!!!!

I'm not giving away the ending, but I just don't feel like I can do a proper review without talking about something that happens. If you are conservative at all, though, you might want to know about this "incident" before reading the book.

I really had to explore my thoughts on this book before reviewing. My first impression was not good! The more I read, though, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked PARTS of it. It's still more edgy than my comfort levels allow, but I can see the message the author was going for. And just so you know, I'm a very conservative person, but I've learned that with my reading, I'm not as conservative as some. I'm usually okay with "edgy" Christian books as long as there's no details and I do have a line that I don't want crossed! :)
The main character does have premarital sex in this story. While I STRONGLY believe in waiting for marriage, I'm not against this being in the book. Everyone sins and everyone makes mistakes. I think the author turned this into a beautiful story of forgiveness(on several levels) and love. I feel like I would be very closed minded if I pretended to think that many Christians don't make this same mistake. The author shows some of the consequences of not waiting, but I think forgiveness and support from loved ones and accepting yourself for EXACTLY who you are is the main message I came away with. I just felt sorry for Essie throughout most of the story! Self confidence is so important!! IF I have a daughter, I think this will probably be one of the biggest subjects I study up on. I'm glad, though, that Essie's story will continue in Deep in the Heart of Trouble. The ending just truly broke my heart!

What I'm not comfortable with is the details leading up to the "incident." I didn't like how edgy and flirtatous Essie became.
There was also descriptions of what two men were thinking about what was underneath Essie's dress. One was thinking about, in his opinion, the many faults that lay underneath and the other one just wanted to get under the dress. I wish that was left out. I don't think it's good for the self-esteem, especially in young, single girls to read things like that!
There was also a word I didn't like. The "b" word for a child without a father. I know it's in the Bible, but in today's society it's used as profanity and I cringe when I see it. I looked over some reviews and noone else had mentioned it, so I asked my husband, and he's with me. He considers it profanity. My momma does not think it is, although she doesn't use or like the word. So, I'll throw it out there just so you know it's in the book. I guess that's something we're all different on.

I'll end this review saying overall I love Deeanne's writing style!! I greatly enjoy the humor she brings to the pages and I'm looking forward to reading more from her. But, this just wasn't my favorite book and I was a bit uncomfortable with it. It did remind me of a less serious version of Redeeming Love, though(IN SOME WAYS)!! That was a book I was also uncomfortable reading, but I'll leave that for another day.


  1. I think you thought good and hard about this review.

    In a Christian book, sometimes it is the details that are included...not just the "incident" that make me frustrated.

    I also struggle with language...even mild...

    Though really, this sounds like a very good book. I have only read one of Gist's books, but liked it.

  2. This is the third one I've read of Deeanne's books, and I really do love her writing. A Bride in the Bargain is one of my favorites!! It's on my keeper shelf. :)

    I think most people have liked this one. And I did like most of it, it just wasn't my favorite. I'm extremely glad, though, that I have the 2nd book already lined up to read.

  3. I will say Deeanne Gist just might be my favorite Christian fiction author ever. But, I didn't love this book, it's my least favorite of all her titles. The edgy content didn't bother me (I do enjoy edgy Christian fiction) but I didn't care for the ending. I suggest people have the sequel on hand to read as soon as they finish this one. The story as a whole is better if the sequel is read right away, imo.

  4. Joy- I agree! I haven't even read it yet, but if I didn't know that Essie's story continued in another book, I wouldn't have liked this one at all. I'm very much looking forward to it. I've still got A Bride Most Begrudging on my shelf I'm excited to get to also. :)

  5. My top three Gist titles in order are:

    1. Measure of a Lady
    2. A Bride Most Begrudging
    3. Maid to Match

    I liked a Bride in the Bargain but it didn't knock any of the top three out of their spots.

    Which other one did you read?

  6. Measure of a Lady was the 2nd one I read. It's in the #2 spot for me right now.

    I really want to read Maid to Match, too. It WAS on the Amazon bargain books, but I missed out on it, but I'm thinking it will be one I end up buying. (Very rare for me!!) :) And I just saw her new one that hasn't came out yet. I'm already excited for it, too. :P