In 1916, twenty-year-old Alyce Benson is back home after being in school in Chicago. She’s thrilled to be near her father’s automobiles again, as she harbors a secret passion for driving – fast. Their mechanic, Webster, is also a friend to her – helping to keep her passion supplied with road trips and a friendly, non-judgmental demeanor. She never hears about not being ladylike from him.
Another reason she’s happy to be home is to return to her church. Despite her parents’ lack of belief, Alyce’s lovely grandmother made an impression on her very young, and Alyce is determined to use her life to do God’s will.
That’s why, when African missionaries discuss their work one Sunday, she recklessly pledges three thousand dollars to their cause. She just can’t look at the pictures of small African children without feeling compelled to help them learn about the Lord.
Only problem? She doesn’t have three thousand dollars, her father does. And he is none too pleased to hear that those “charlatans” would like his money, so he denies her request.
Alyce has to find a way to make the money on her own – and honor her pledge. So, she starts to think about her love for driving fast and asks Webster to train her to race her father’s automobile in the upcoming competition to win the prize money.
But she’ll have to pretend to be a man.
Will Alyce’s desire to fulfill her obligation crash and burn?
Alyce is certainly a spirited, emotional gal! But she’s also a ton of fun to follow. I often feel there aren’t enough female characters in inspirational historical fiction that are legitimately spunky. Here, we get it in spades!
She’s kind-hearted, generous, and in over her head. Alyce is the kind of character that gets herself into trouble by caring too much. I loved her independent, lively streak that gives her unique interests that, yes, may make her a bit of a mess sometimes but also helps to keep her from becoming a quavering, simpering cliché!
At Every Turn provides an original storyline that feels fresh, fast-paced, and entertaining. I especially enjoyed the subtle, but effective, romance that is unfussy – very nice!
This is a historical fiction novel for those of us that are bored with irritatingly gushy romance or recycled plots. Give it a try!
*I received a copy of At Every Turn from the Bethany House Book Reviewers program, which you can check out here. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.