Book & Cover Review of "Courting Miss Amsel" by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Courting Miss Amsel
Book Review
Courting Miss Amsel is a fictional Christian novel that is full of delightful insights into the life of a frontier one-room school house teacher. The one major flaw I found was that I would like to have known the main male character a little better before he becomes interested in the new school marm, as it seemed rather sudden, but I otherwise enjoyed this story and its rural setting of Walnut Hill, Nebraska. The male lead just seemed a little underdeveloped in the earliest part of the book – however, I liked him more and more (and the book) as I kept reading. This book does discuss the women’s suffrage amendment and adds a personal ‘face’ to that effort that might make this story a good book to introduce to female jr. high or high school students that may not be aware of what women’s rights were like not so very long ago – especially when it came to property ownership, marriage, and inheritance.

Book Cover Review
I was not as impressed by this cover as I have been with many of the other titles I have recently reviewed for Bethany House. I like the background photo of the church/school house on the prairie-like landscape, and I don’t technically mind if a person is looking away from the reader on the cover, but somehow this photo just doesn’t seem to blend with the background as well as it should.  Having the teacher’s back to us seems to be the cause of the feeling of separation? Rather than looking at the reader, or at the school house she appears to be looking off to the left – and we can’t tell why. I also dislike the floating head/shoulders in the clouds on the spine. Would seem less like a beheading if it had been put into a frame like a cameo instead of its current treatment. I do, however,  like the carry-through of the crimson color from her dress and the school roof into the title and author name, as well as the gold embellishment that is used in black and white even in the interior pages of the book.

I think that perhaps if the pose were only slightly altered, maybe a little less back facing the reader, this would be a stronger, more appealing cover – making readers feel more welcome and therefore more drawn to read it.

* This book was provided by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for review.

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About Suzanne Wesley

Suzanne lives in Indiana with her husband and their two girls. In May of 2009 she began freelancing from her home office, using a combination of writing and graphic design skills to create professional-level, marketing materials for individuals and businesses at affordable rates. She has a BS degree from Indiana State University (1996); and completed majors in both English, Liberal Art and Fine Art, Graphic Design. Suzanne also completed the Apprenticeship writing program of the Christian Writer's Guild and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). View all posts by Suzanne Wesley

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