Book Review: A Pretty Age

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Book Description

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. In an ensuing 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. A Pretty Age exposes the violence still underlying the Midwest’s supposed civilizing forces at the turn of the century (1910) through the emergence of two convent boarding school students into a world where weapons may have changed but the danger remains.


I admit that the reason I was compelled to read this book is because the author’s name is the same as my mom’s.  Maybe not the best reason to pick up a book, but hey that’s truly why I did.

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 e-book sample of A Pretty Age through the BookLook Blogger Program.  The opinions expressed are solely my own.

You can purchase A Pretty Age by Barbara Mueller for the Kindle on as of this post publish date for $3.99, and in paperback for $17.99.

15 thoughts on “Book Review: A Pretty Age

  1. I guess I will skip this one. A book has to be fast moving so that it can keep up with my fast reading. We finish books in a matter of hours around here.

  2. Not to sure if this is my kind of book. I like reading ones that capture my attention from the beginning! Thanks for the review.

  3. Yes, I can usually only read fast paced books or I get bored… but I'm going to check this one out because it sounds interesting.

  4. Thanks for your honest review! I haven't read a book in ages, and sadly I don't know any of the writers, so I'd hate to waste my time on a OK-read.

  5. Wow, did you ask your mom when she became an author?? 🙂

    It sounds interesting, but I definitely like a storyline that captivates me straight through…I'm so easily distracted these days.

  6. Thank you for your honest review. As someone who doesn't get nearly enough time to sit down with a good book, I need something that will capture and keep my attention!

  7. I've read many a book that couldn't hold my attention and my mind would wonder… but sometimes it would be just my mood or what was going on in my life at the time. Thanks for the honest review!

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