Wednesday, April 8, 2009

REVIEW: No Place for a Lady by Maggie Brendan

No Place for a Lady coverGenre: Christian Historical Fiction
Pub Date: Jan 2009, Baker Publishing Group
Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Source/FTC Disclosure: I purchased my copy of this book. I was in no way compensated for this review and my opinions are my own.
Crystal Clark arrives in Colorado's Yampa Valley amid the splendor of a high country June in 1892. After the death of her father, Crystal is relieved to be leaving the troubles of her Georgia life behind to visit her aunt Kate's cattle ranch. Despite being raised as a proper Southern belle, Crystal is determined to hold her own in this wild land--even if a certain handsome foreman doubts her abilities. Just when she thinks she's getting a handle on the constant male attention from the cowhands and the catty barbs from some of the local young women, tragedy strikes the ranch. Crystal will have to tap all of her resolve to save the ranch from a greedy neighboring landowner. Can she rise to the challenge? Or will she head back to Georgia defeated? Book one in the Heart of the West series, No Place for a Lady is full of adventure, romance, and the indomitable human spirit. Readers will fall in love with the Colorado setting and the spunky Southern belle who wants to claim it as her own.


Well, from everything I've read out there, it seems I'm in the minority, because I was not very impressed with No Place for a Lady. And for that reason, this review will be relatively short and to the point. I really wanted to like this book, especially after reading several 5-star reviews on Amazon and, but in the end I was disappointed. The plot was flimsy; neither it nor the characters had much depth, in my opinion. I'm starting to think that I must not be a big fan of Christian Fiction. It feels like the storylines are very formulaic and clich├ęd. I have read several of Janette Oke's novels, and while I enjoyed them after awhile I felt like I was reading the same story over and over again. Oke's advantage is that she is able to give depth and realism to her characters and make the plot more meaningful. The story behind No Place for a Lady had potential--it was sweet, but cheesy at the same time--300+ pages of fluff in the end.

2 stars

Other reviews of No Place for a Lady:


  1. I agree….the storyline was attractive but the lack of depth kept it from fulfilling its potential. There was also a lack of connective tissue between the many of the characters and their attitudes and actions...I kept asking “why?”. Also, Crystal’s determination to participate in the cattle drive, while commendable, was highly improbable (not to mention highly impractical). Though I deeply appreciate the values espoused, Christian Fiction writers need to be careful that their characters’ faith doesn’t come off as intellectually or emotionally shallow.

  2. Aw what a bummer. It doesn't sound like it had really great potential though. I do like the cover for some reason 8)

    P.S. I gave you an award too!!

  3. Anon ~ Thanks for the input, it's nice to know I'm not the only one out there who was unimpressed with this book.

    Mishel ~ I guess this is one of those cases where you can't judge a book by its cover :-) I really thought it was attractive, too! And thank you for the award, it is MUCH appreciated!

  4. Please keep trying Christian fiction...there's some great out of the box stuff, it's just hit or miss like every genre. :)

  5. Amy, would be interested in any recommendations you have. Out of the box sounds good to me, since most of what I've read felt pretty typical, with the exception of The Shack...


This blog does not use CAPTCHA, please comment freely! However, I have had to disable the "Anonymous" commenting feature since the spammers are just out of control. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment -- I love to hear what you think! Feedback and discussion are always welcome. Happy reading :-)