Friday, July 22, 2011

Operation Bonnet: Dabbling into the Amish

Operation Bonnet: A NovelOperation Bonnet, by Kimberly Stuart
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I picked this book up at the library, and it didn't have very many reviews on goodreads or amazon, but the Amish storyline made me think it was worth the risk.

Nellie Monroe is a bit of an odd duck--she is naive but bright and spunky and doesn't fit in very well in her small Ohio town. Her parents are inattentive and wealthy, and the two people most important to her are her step-grandmother Nona and her best friend, Matt. She also desperately wants to be a private investigator.

So when a former Amish man, Amos, asks her to find out whether his long-lost love, Katie, is going to marry another man, Nellie jumps at the chance to go undercover. She sneaks her way into an Amish family's good graces through a bit of falsehood, and finds a way to bring the star-crossed lovers together.

In the meantime, Nona's fading and Nellie doesn't want to admit it, and Matt views Nellie as more than a friend, but she's too dense to see it.

I liked Stuart's funny writing style, although some of the characters were caricatures or not fully developed (such as her school nemesis, Misty--what was the purpose of her?). We also do not really get to know Matt very well. Kimberly Stuart is actually a "Christian" author, as I discovered toward the end when she threw God in several times. Even though I'm a Christian, I steer clear from so-called "Christian" books, music, and the like. It wasn't too extreme, but it definitely kept the book from being a secular selection. At other times I felt like it was a little preachy, such as when Matt kept telling Nellie that "guys need a break." It felt like a way of suggesting that Nellie's strong, independent personality might be keeping guys away and that women should be more acquiesent to men.

But all in all, I enjoyed this book but probably will not read any more of this author's novels. If you are interested in the Amish or in different cultures, you might like it. 

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