The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Blogging for Books provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

The Pursuit of Tamsen LittlejohnThe Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

She felt a stirring at the core of her being… It was fragile, still encompassed by grief. But it was there, taking root inside her like the tiniest of promising seeds. Maybe it was hope.

I found The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn to be a strange story, not a run-of-the-mill novel for which I could accurately predict every upcoming turn. It’s quite a piece of historical fiction, including the Lost State of Franklin, a part of U.S. history I hadn’t heard of before, and I enjoyed how author Lori Benton touched on aspects of race and interracial relations in early America. The nation’s dealings with race have always been complicated, oftentimes not very pretty, and Benton did a wonderful job of portraying how racial issues can’t be cut right down the middle in separate terms of black and white, or any color.

For a moment, I thought Tamsen and Jesse’s romance was going to carry on along the “girl acts snippy with guy because she’s attracted to him, and he constantly teases her because of it” trail, but I’m glad it didn’t, which I think would have cheapened this particular story.

While it was an integral part of the plot, one instance of Tamsen’s running off alone while she was living in danger seemed to be too convenient a way to set off key events, as one would think that by that time, Tamsen would clearly know better. I also slipped out of interest with the story at different points in the middle that I didn’t find intriguing or all that necessary.

However, this not-so-run-of-the-mill novel is one to stick with through to the end.


You can read the first chapter of The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn here.


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