Friday, September 23, 2016

The Measure of a Lady by Deeanne Gist

Rachel Van Buren arrives in Gold Rush San Francisco with two wishes: to protect her younger siblings and to return east as soon as possible. Both goals prove more difficult than she could imagine as her brother and sister are lured by the city’s dangerous freedom and a missionary-turned-gambler stakes a claim on her heart. Rachel won’t give up without a fight though, and soon all will learn an eloquent but humorous lesson about what truly makes a lady.
Speak Politely. Even when you’re the only respectable woman around, protesting the decadence of a city lost to gold fever.
Dress Modestly. Wear you sunbonnet at all times. Ensure nobody sees your work boots muddied by the San Francisco streets.
Remain Devoted to Family. Protect your siblings from the lures of the city, even against their wishes.
Stand Above Reproach. Most difficult when a wonderful man turns out to be a saloon owner.
Rise Above Temptation. No, not even just a little kiss…
When these rules become increasingly difficult to uphold, can Rachel Van Buren remain a beacon of virtue in a city of vice?

The Measure of a Lady is one of Deeanne Gist’s historical stand-alone novels, and is such a fantastic and sweet story! I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting when I picked this book up, although I did assume it would be wonderful since I’m a pretty big fan of Deeanne’s, but I just didn’t think the storyline would evolve the way that it did! I’m definitely not saying that is a bad thing by any means, it just took me by surprise. While I might not have thought the story would turn out that way, I’m most certainly glad it did because I can’t think of a single thing that would have made it better! Deeanne did an amazing job of weaving this plot together, and I’m so glad I had the time to read it last week!
Rachel Van Buren is such a sweet, innocent character, whom I love dearly though she has some of the most warped views of purity and morality! It is completely adorable, I promise you, although I feel so much compassion for her because of all the pain she causes herself! She has somehow adopted the idea that she, as one of the only good Christian women in all of San Francisco, is to be the model of virtue for the entire town, and that is too big of a weight for anyone’s shoulders. Everyone makes mistakes, and she is no exception, and beyond that her ideas of what morality is are a little skewed. Despite all of that though, I really loved her throughout the whole course of this book, and I really enjoyed seeing her come to grips with what true morality and good Christ-like love actually look like.
On top of everything I’ve already mentioned, I also just really enjoyed just getting to live in this story. There were so many twists and turns I’d never expected, some good, some bad, and I loved getting to see how both Rachel and Johnnie (you’ll meet him later) learned all about love and Christianity and what’s really right and wrong. Deeanne did a wonderful job of pulling all of that together without making this book seem preachy or like a sermon in any way, and that fact has helped to make this one of my favorites of her novels.
All in all, I really loved this book, and I’m now an even bigger fan of Deeanne’s than I was before. I can’t imagine not giving this book all five bookshelves, and I’m so glad I picked it up the last time I was at the library. This sweet story captivated me from beginning to end, and I highly recommend it as a fantastic beach read (I read it on the beach this past week so that’s why I’m mentioning that). Deeanne is a wonderful author and if you haven’t yet read any of her novels, I strongly suggest that you do! If you like historical novels, I recommend Love on the Line or Maid to Match, but if you’re more the contemporary type, Beguiled is the novel for you!
Happy reading!

To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.

All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Deeanne Gist and Bethany House Publishers.

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