In 1910, a missionary visitor arrives at Sophiny Mumm's convent boarding school in Concord, Kansas. Sophiny is smitten. Her best friend Antoinette Dominguez is not-and begins a series of strange behaviors breaking all the rules. From Sophiny she extracts three promises, a trunk exchange, and a staged fight before she elopes. Shortly thereafter, Sophiny learns that the missionary is not who he pretends to be and that her friend's elopement has resulted in a mysterious disappearance. Antoinette's puzzling diary gives clues about "guardians who cause us to lose our way." The missionary reappears, and Sophiny is launched on a traveler's tale of her own to search for her missing friend. In the investigation of puzzling enigmas, Sophiny has to use all the resources of emerging women's rights, family relationships, social networks, the new technologies (telephone, photography, and transportation), and patron saints.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Honestly the book is a bit difficult to read, the storyline is pretty good, but I found that the writing itself lacked a flow to it. I found my mind wandering during portions of the book so that I had to go back and read those parts again. It's also not at all evident what the title of the book has to do with the story as a whole until the very end of the book. That being said, the relationship between Antoinette and Sophiny and their schoolmates is well done and believable, making the stiltedness of the rest of the writing bearable. Also it's interesting to read this book in light of its historical context as a coming of age story during the beginning of women's rights. If you like a fast paced book, then you won't find it in A Pretty Age, however if you can plod through quantitative descriptors serving little purpose to the plot as a whole, then A Pretty Age has enough of a story with good character development to make it worth reading. *I received a media sample of this e-book for review purposes.
In A Pretty Age by Barbara Mueller Sophiny Mumm, a sixteen year old student at a Catholic convent and her best friend Antoinette Dominguez find themselves entrapped in the schemes of evil man. Antoinette elopes and then subsequently disappears. Sophiny must solve the mystery of her friend's disappearance while subsequently avoiding getting captured herself. This was an interesting read. It's set at the turn of the 20th century and is an interesting look at the era through the eyes of a somewhat sheltered girl who is very excited for the development of progress. The story starts out slow, but eventually picked up enough steam to keep me reading. I have to say that I figured the end would be very predictable. Some parts of it were and others were not. I was impressed with the way that Sophiny grew as a character through the course of the book. She started out rather meek and mild and ended up as a strong fighter. This was all due to her relationship with Antoinette. I would recommend this book if you are interested in historical fiction. It was a fun read, once it got going and was interesting enough to keep me up a few nights. I normally would not have picked out this book, but I was glad that I did. It reminded me of the true value of friendship and the value of having others in this life. We are not, afterall, meant to do go through this life alone. I would not recommend this book if you like tight writing. I was really distracted by some passages that could have been written much more plainly. I am by no means a perfect writer, but I was surprised by how many slips there were. This was frustrating and I am hoping that this was an early copy since it was being reviewed. This book was provided to me by the publisher for an honest and thorough review. All opinions are solely mine.