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A Proper Pursuit

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,940 Ratings  ·  473 Reviews
From a three-time Christy award winner, a young woman goes to Chicago to find her mother, but newly exposed to a bigger world, discovers herself.
ebook, 0 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by Bethany House Publishers (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sheri Salatin
Jan 26, 2009 Sheri Salatin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must say that when I started this book, I really wasn't sure if I would even stick with it to finish it. The only reason that I kept reading it all was because the writing was so good and intriguing. (It's written from first person perspective and you'll remember from my last review that I really don't care for first person perspectives) Usually about mid-way through a book, I can tell where the story is going. With this book, I wasn't sure. I love books that have a happy ending and tie things ...more
Naomi Sarah

I love it, okay? I love it. It's not Lynn Austin's most emotional or wow-ahhh-I'm-dead book, but I love it all the same. I was gushing in the great-ness of it when I closed it, and I giggled many times. Violet is a hilarious heroine. AND ALSO. SILAS. Okay. We're ready for this review.

My opinions on Violet suitors.
Violet has a lot of suitors - that's the fun thing about this book.
1. Herman Beckett. He was ghastly. Seriously, I'm a bit annoyed with Violet for not pushing him away immedia
First of all, ignore the deathly boring cover. The cover features a little girl who looks like she belongs on the cover of A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, while the book isn't about a child but Violet, who has just graduated finishing school and is out to find her role in life.

Whether that's marrying the stodgy Herman Beckett, intense Luis or Nelson, who clearly likes Violet and dislikes the pretenses of Chicago society. The same as her. But he isn't all he seems, and what if it's someone else that h
Margaret Metz
Jan 17, 2011 Margaret Metz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I know it's cliche, but I have a HUGE wish list of books - and only so much time and money. This is one that had been on the list for a while and I'm a little ashamed to say that I didn't put as much emphasis on it because the cover just didn't grab me. Let me tell you something - what's inside is one of the most entertaining stories I've read in a long time. I instantly added Lynn Austin as a favorite author after finishing this book.

Violet is such an incredible character. She experiences so mu
This was a fun book. The main character, Violet, is quirky and full of imagination. At first, she was a little annoying because I found her to be a bit naive. However, as I read the novel, I realized that much of the point of her story is the process of growing up.

Austin portrayed the historical aspect of the novel well. I love reading novels about the Women's Rights movement and women's suffrage, and this one delivered (Violet even wears-gasp-bloomers!)

I loved the list of mysteries that Violet
Mar 23, 2016 Staci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
This was a lovely novel and I thoroughly enjoyed the story line and humor.

Violet's search for her mother provided a bit of mystery to the novel. The biggest strength of the story however is the character growth that Violet developed under the guidance of her four aunts. Each of them focused on a different criteria for what is important in life.

A Proper Pursuit is highly recommended for fans of Jen Turano.
Nov 08, 2009 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a lot of fun. It won a Christy award, so it is clean (yea) and it's religious message was not overdone or overpowering (bonus). It's historical fiction and is set in Chicago during the world's fair just before the turn of the century. You get to march with suffragettes, wear bloomers, visit Jane Adam's Hull House, hear Robert Moody preach, and of course, visit the fair or "the white city." As a bonus, the residents reminisce about the Chicago Fire and you learn all about that, too! ...more
A Proper Pursuit is a delightful romp through the year 1893 as Violet tries to find her true love. She goes to Chicago to stay with her grandmother and three great aunts. Each lady has a different kind of beau in mind for Violet but none of the beaus is exactly right. At the same time, she is trying to solve the disappearance of an important person in her life using each of the beaus to assist her. Only when Violet finds her real first love does she find exactly the right man for her.

I loved th
Amber Stokes
Jan 15, 2016 Amber Stokes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book surprised me--in a good way! When I first started the book, I confess that I thought it wouldn't be very deep, and it took me a while to really get into it. But about a quarter of the way through, my thoughts really changed.

Violet Hayes, the main character, annoyed me at the beginning, and I felt that the other characters were interesting, but maybe a bit too quirky. However, Violet really grows during her trip to Chicago, and I began to feel closer to her, as well as the other charact
Rachel Brand
This is the second Lynn Austin novel that I've read and the second that I've truly struggled to pin-point any flaws in. Austin is a fabulous story-teller, and I'm still blown away by how she managed to create such a rich and unusual story. Initially I was a little worried that Violet's aunts and grandmother would be caricatured, given their incredibly different personalities, but as each women's backstory was revealed, they became far more real. The same can be said for Violet's multiple beaus. ...more
Jul 14, 2015 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
I've lost count of how many times I've read this book, but enjoy it just as much every single time. It cracks me up too!
I enjoyed reading this book so, so much. I just wish the last chapter were a little longer - as it was I read the third last and last (the second last being about something else) twice.

As with the other Austin book I read (A Woman's Place), I again felt like I learnt a lot: the great Chicago Fires; the huge World Exhibition in Chicago (might be called something else...); D. L. Moody and his yokefellows; the slums of Chicago; the women's rights movement - that was pretty cool, especially conside
Well, this Lynn Austen book wasn't quite the tear jerker that some of her other books were. Of course - still a few tears in the end, but this wasn't as "deep" and not as much tragedy - still some, but not as much. I especially enjoyed the setting because I recently visited Chicago and heard alot of the history that was referred to here in one of the tours I took while I was there. This was centered around the Worlds Fair after the great Chicago fire (late 1800's). This author is a wonderful sto ...more
This book did not disappoint. I loved, loved, loved it! The story was told from Violet's (main character) perspective, which made it that much more enjoyable. I found myself trying to figure out things ahead of time and, although I was correct with quite a few, some things surprised me. There were serious moments as well as some hilarious ones that had me laughing out loud. There were parts of the ending that were disappointing, but that made the story all the more realistic to me. This is only ...more
I actually think this book is 3.5 stars. The book is a faith based theme, and speaks a lot of the Rev. Moody movement. It was a story about Violet . She is twenty years old and has recently returned from a ladies finishing school. I won't give away the story, but she goes to Chicago to see the World Fair, and visit her grandmother, and three aunts. Everyone in her life from her father to aunts to grandmother have an agenda. She goes to work with the very poor immigrants in disease infested areas ...more
It was really hard to decide between three and four stars on this one. As I read I kept waffling between the two ratings. On the one hand, there were these cardboard characters who never seemed to break out of their molds and a narrator's voice that just the littlest bit contrived. But on the other hand, the story was charming, the main character was endearing and naive, and the message was sweet. I had to bump it up to four in the end.
Violet Hayes, graduate of Madame Beauchamps' charm school has no idea how the rest of her life will unfold but she knows a few things 1)She has to find a way to prevent her father's wedding to Mrs. O'Neill and her horrid children 2)In order to do so she has to find her mother and make her mother come back to Violet and her father and 3)she has to fall in love before she marries. Her father has other ideas. He wants Violet to marry the extremely boring Herman Beckett and stay stuck in slow Lockpo ...more
Apr 13, 2012 Knitpurlgurl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Violet Rose Hayes is a 20 year old woman in the late 1800s. Having finished charm school, she visits her aunts in Chicago under the guise of being presented to society and finding a proper husband, when in reality she visits to find out what happened to her estranged mother. As she stays with her aunts and grandmother, she discovers that these women all have different stories, different perspectives, and different paths they wish Violet to take in life. Her Aunt Agnes is determined to see to it ...more
This book was a fun ride! Even though it didn't strike me on a spiritual level quite as much as some of Austin's other books, I really enjoyed it. Violet Rose Hayes is the most HILARIOUS character i've encountered in a long time. I found myself repeatedly laughing out loud and reading passages to my husband! Her innocence, proper education, age of decision, and general inability to conform (even if she tries) keep this book a light hearted romp through the challenges of adolescence.

Highlights fo
Dec 21, 2013 Rjeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing. Laugh out loud funny in spots. I loved Violet Hayes as a vivacious and imaginative young woman trying to figure out who she really is. With the help of others she takes the readers on a wonderful Chicago. The journey is sweet. Railing against social norms she ask potential suitors outragious questions like, "Would you rather be unbelievably handsome but poor, or emormously rich but disfugured?" Will the answers to many like questions help her to figure out who sh ...more
Mary L.
Feb 12, 2016 Mary L. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun and clean read! Who would have thought a family could have so many secrets! Not giving anything away to say I love Aunt Birdie! I really laughed at some of the things Violet managed to get up to and her questions game was wonderful!
Loved this story! Cleverly written, amusing, and filled with interesting period details.
Cathy Daniel
Jan 10, 2016 Cathy Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun book and sweet ending! The family did frustrate me by their refusal to not tell Violet anything about her mother. That was the only part I didn't care for much.
Maria Mccarthy
Nov 16, 2011 Maria Mccarthy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a humorous story told from the perspective of a young single woman during the time of the world's fair in Chicago. Although it is so funny that I actually laughed out loud, it also has some very serious bits sprinkled throughout that deal with choices to be made based on how much faith plays a role in one's life. I loved this book! It is basically a light, enjoyable, humorous read that caused me to assess the role faith plays in my daily dealings with people, my hobbies and in what I do ...more
Sadie Vanderkodde
Jul 06, 2014 Sadie Vanderkodde rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually got this book from the library a while ago, read the first few pages, and lost interest. It was only after reading the reviews here that I decided to give it another chance, and I'm so glad I did. Austin's best work is weaving the past mysteriously in with the present in her characters' lives. Family secrets and unknown motives compel the reader to continue on - even when said reader's house is a mess and bedtime is long past. ;-)

A Proper Pursuit is another of Austin's depictions of
Jun 04, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first look into Lynn Austin's writing and I absolutely loved it! The characters were endearing and I loved all the different perspectives and lifestyles that we were able to get a glimpse into.

There were a few situations and circumstances where I was a bit uncomfortable just because of subject matter. For Example, a moment where she visits a saloon environment.

This book had romance, mystery, and excitement. I couldn't put it down! I found Violet's character to be so vibrant and adven
Jul 09, 2013 Tonia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It was adorable. I knew pretty early the secret of Silas McCleer but I enjoyed readying how Violet figured it out. I loved the aunts! Really they were each so cute with sweet aunt birdy saying "Oh how nice" to everything and funny Aunt Matt saying "If women ran the world.." I loved the different aspects into society they each showed. I LOVED the bloomer scene. SO FUNNY! This book was just enough mystery solving, thought provoking, and romance all into one. Like I said adorable ...more
May 01, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't give 5 stars lightly. I don't know if it's my current state of mind or my overall love of romantically-mysterious-turn-of-the-century novels, but I absolutely loved reading about Violet Hayes, her care-free spirit and her self serving suitors. (I especially love when what I want to happen actually ends up happening!!) A great story, well written, very entertaining.
Jun 20, 2013 Tatiana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book SO much! It was hilarious, the characters were so real, natural, and just plain funny. I loved the main character and her development--it seemed impossible, but it flowed naturally and included some good, relevant lessons. The only thing I wasn't 1000% satisfied with was I wanted a little more romance at the end, but it was cute and I definitely finished this book with a grin on my face.
Leslie Kay
Mar 01, 2014 Leslie Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think that I would like this book at the beginning (a little too fluffy), but I found myself pulled-in and wondering just who Miss Violet would choose of all her suiters. Good, uplifting-read and a fair impression of the times. I liked it.

Favorite quotes:

"I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. So I remained in bed."
pg. 253

"I know someone who loves you that way right now."
I sat up in surprise. "You do? Who?"
"He doesn't count."
"Of course He counts! I know you're facing som
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jan 31, 2015 11:43AM  
Christian Fiction...: A Proper Pursuit Buddy Read 36 37 May 10, 2013 10:51AM  
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  • A Hope Undaunted (Winds of Change, #1)
  • Deep in the Heart of Trouble
  • Courting Morrow Little
  • Tender Graces
  • Lady of Milkweed Manor
  • How Do I Love Thee? (Ladies of History #4)
  • The Lady of Bolton Hill
  • A Vote of Confidence (Sisters of Bethlehem Springs, #1)
  • The Sweetest Thing
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For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later ...more
More about Lynn Austin...

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“In the past I had often tried to escape the grown-up world of sorrow through my imagination- dreaming that a handsome young lieutenant would ride to my rescue or that a great empresario would discover my musical talents and whisk me away. I had envisioned knights in shining armor and happily ever after scenes to escape from rules or boredom or pain; including a vision of my mother walking through our front door whole and well again. Now I knew that a lifetime of escape led to a life like Aunt Bertie's. My imagination was a gift, but I had to live in the real world. My eyes had been opened this summer to poverty and crime and abuse and I needed to use my imagination not to escape, but to help people like Irina and Katya, to make my own contribution as the women in the women's pavilion had done. I couldn't do it in the same way Jane Adams and my grandmother and Aunt Mat were, but I would find my own way and my own time.” 9 likes
“I would sooner become a spinster than spend a lifetime with a boring, unimaginative man.” 0 likes
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