Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Writer's Review of “Short-Straw Bride" by Karen Witemeyer

There aren’t many authors who WOW me every time they write a new book. But fortunately there are some. And Karen Witemeyer is one of them. Starting with her first book, I have read all four of her books the first chance I had once they were released.

I remember getting her first book from the library and wondering if it was going to leave me feeling, “Ho-hum, that was an okay story written tolerably well... enough,” or if I perhaps had stumbled upon one of those books that (and please let me point out that I really do hope for this second reaction every time I read a new author... but am more often than not terribly disappointed) would delight me by the perfectly drawn-out emotions of the characters, leave me in awe of the author’s ability and talent for combining just the right words in every sentence, and make me fall in love with the characters so entirely that I remember them and their story even years later. (I know, I’m a touch critic, huh? Well, that’s just how it is).

Okay, I’ll just admit it. I am in love with Karen’s writing and story-telling abilities. There.

I don’t even know if there’s anything more to say! But I will try. :)

Short-Straw Bride is her fourth and newest release from Bethany House. I have to be honest, I’ve read a book in the recent past which had a plot much like this one—only it wasn’t written nearly as well and I was left with the complete opposite reaction after reading it. That other book was the first book I’d read by that “new-to-me” author… and I haven’t been able to get through any more of that author’s books, though I have tried. All that to say, there really is nothing new under the sun—only different levels of talent in the authors who continue to take us to the places and situations we love to go time and time again.

Karen’s stories and characters carry a depth to them that doesn’t seem contrived in any way. The settings are appealing, the characters are likable (despite their flaws), and the plots are perfectly orchestrated. It makes me wonder if she’s a plotter/outliner (like me) from the beginning of the story, and not a seat-of-the-pantser (someone who writes their stories without a defined journey or outcome).

If you haven’t read any of Karen’s books, I highly recommend them. I borrowed Short-Straw Bride from my local library and have written this extremely honest review just because I wanted to. I give Short-Straw Bride 5 stars.

To watch the book trailer for Short-Straw Bride, or to read the first chapters of any of Karen Witemeyer’s books click here.


Brandi said...

I have Karen's first book A Taylor Made Bride on my TBR list. Good to know I'm in for a great read!

Sverige said...

I love historical novels, and with Witemeyer I have never been disappointed. Her characters not only capture your interest but also your heart. And with this story I was sad to see that I moved through adventure so quickly(in one day) because I was completely enthralled. At the end it was every bittersweet to see the story come to a close, though enjoyable to see the characters with an ending that was beautiful.