Frantz, Laura. An Uncommon Woman. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2020.
Paperback | $15.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0800734954 | 377 pages | Historical Romance/Christian Fiction
I received a complimentary copy as a part of the Revell Reads Blog Tour Program, in exchange for an honest review.
That said, this won’t be much of a review, as while one of the conditions of the program is posting a review, I didn’t have to finish the book. And I made the mistake of requesting thi book out of excitement to read more by the author, without reading the blurb, even when I received the book in the mail. It was only when I finally picked it up to read that alarm bells started going off, what with the recent resurgence of discussion around proper representation of diverse voices in romance novels due to the RWA scandal, and the lingering memory of some unfortunate titles in the “inspirational” category receiving mainstream attention.
I suspect Frantz had good intent, having flipped to the back of the book and looked at her author’s note. But it is a bit disconcerting to see her perspective is primarily a scholarly one, so it comes off as another white author wanting to write about something “exotic, but not too exotic,” a problem that has plagued romance for a long time. This holds a lot of weight when you consider the fact that her hero and a supporting character both are essentially white people who were “captured” and lived among the “Indians,” with the plot set to see the heroine captured as well (I didn’t get that far…and I got almost two hundred pages in).
And the plot and characters were so lacking in…really…anything, which made the issues I had with the rep stand out even more. The one positive I guess is that she mastered the time period language, but when it’s juxtaposed with “time period accurate” everything else, it just falls super flat.
In short, don’t recommend. But like some of the other problematic Christian romances (or really any Christian romances, this seems to be the sort of book that appeals very specifically to their target demographic.