Suit and Suitability was a pleasant surprise to me, though I expected no less from this author. After reading Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility earlier this year and finding it, to be blunt–with deepest apologies to Austen fans everywhere–predictable and a trifle shallow, I hope that Suit and Suitability would take the concept and storyline deeper. I was not disappointed. Kelsey Bryant’s excellent skill in weaving the storyline seamlessly into 1930s Ohio and New York combined with the rich spiritual truths and growth woven into the characters’ lives made this book a satisfying read. It started off rather slow – it took me a while to get into the story – but once the action began, I was quite drawn in. The themes of suffering for the purpose of a more intimate relationship with God, contentment, relying on God instead of one’s self, and constant trust shone forth clearly and refreshingly. Although the characters made numerous mistakes throughout the book, the story of their spiritual growth, though sometimes slow and halting, was a beacon throughout the book.
Ellen, Marion, Greta, Mother, Dad, Everett, Mr. Bradley, Wilkie, Aunt Jennie, Leona – all had distinct personalities. The author did an excellent job of portraying the feelings, thoughts, and motives of each one. I enjoyed the twists and turns as well as the refreshing and engaging peek into 1930s life – I must once again mention how flawless I found this element.
All in all, I would highly recommend this book to lovers of Austen, lovers of historical fiction, and anyone who is looking for a good read in this genre.