My review of Baroness by Susan May Warren

About the book:

What could they possibly want when they already have everything? Two daughters of fortune have been handed all the makings for storybook happily-ever-afters. The only problem is, they don’t want to live fairy-tale lives. But when forced to decide, will they really be able to abandon lives of ease and luxury for the love and adventure that beckons? Coming of age in the turbulent Roaring Twenties, each woman sets out to find romance on her own terms. But at what cost will she find her happy ending?

My review:

I adored Heiress, and as a result it made my top fiction list for 2011. But I absolutely loved Baroness, so you know it will make my 2012 top fiction list. In my opinion, this story was fantastic because it was so insightful regarding the human heart. The themes were deep, and the characters were so three dimensional, that I couldn’t help getting choked up a few times. I cared about the characters and the hard lessons they learned. Who doesn’t want to believe that real love can change a person for the good? We’re all attracted to danger at some point, and I loved how the author showed why these young women felt unfulfilled and rebellious. It was because of unmet needs in childhood, which wasn’t something that they could be protected from no matter how much their parents loved them. Life hurts, and wounded people run from emotional pain. That was brilliantly shown in this book.

The themes in this novel of both physical and spiritual adoption was beautiful, and the lesson about love and commitment going hand in hand was touching as well. There is no worse feeling than deep regret, and when I read stories with this theme, emotion tugs at my heartstrings every time. Forgiving one’s self is one of the hardest lessons to learn. So is tasting real love, suffering as the result of poor choices, having the past rear up to bite you when you least expect it, and ultimately watching it destroy innocent people in the end. But when a person sacrifices their own life for someone else’s because of a deep, abiding love for them, it always moves me to tears.

There was something very Christ-like about Guthrie that I couldn’t help being moved by, and I believe there a little bit of Rosie in all of us; yet because of His deep and unrelenting love, Christ died for us anyway. I loved how this story illuminates universal truths about people, and I appreciated how the author wove a thread of faith through the entire story, and did it so seamlessly. It really pulled everything together. Not to mention that every detail in this story made me feel like I was living in the Roaring 20s… from the clothing, the clubs, and the culture, to the way people interacted with each other. Did I mention the pulse-pounding kisses? Prepare to get breathless a few times and forget that you’re reading fiction. I love stories that make me feel like I’m somewhere else.

Real life doesn’t always have a happy ending, and the conclusion of this story was bittersweet, but that was what made the last few chapters so emotional for me. Healing takes time. The pacing of this story felt like real life. God is with us even when we don’t see Him or feel His presence. I love that Rosie is still learning how to deal with her deep scars from childhood, and how you can see that God is pursuing her despite her determination to run from the pain. It gives me chills just thinking about the potential the author has for this character to learn some important lessons in the future. Bottom line, I love historical fiction, and truth be told, Susan May Warren is a master at crafting it. I can’t wait for the next book.

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