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REVIEW: Heavens to Betsy by Beth Pattillo

Dear Ms. Pattillo,

Heavens to BetsyI noticed the review for this book while I was watching DVDs of Dawn
French’s British comedy about a female vicar in the Church of England working in a small country village. Some of the obstacles that French faces are also ones that crop up in this book. The heroine, Betsy Blessing, faces opposition from church members because she’s a woman and feels that she’s being passed over for promotions to higher positions for the same reason. Unlike French’s series, Betsy is also having to wrestle with the idea that maybe she’s not cut out to be a pastor. Maybe she should turn in that application to law school. It’s also finally dawned on her that her long standing friendship with a fellow minister in the area might be something she wants to pursue as a romance.

You have a lovely, gentle sense of humor, know the topic and never use Betsy to preach at the reader. I enjoy how you let Betsy’s faith guide her actions and thoughts. This is a fun mixing of Chick Lit crossed with Inspirational Lit. I tend to like first person stories and this one is well done. And as I said, I would tell readers not to worry too much if they aren’t religious people since you don’t try to grind any axes or preach from any soapboxes. I did get tired of Betsy putting off telling David her feelings and that’s why I graded the book down a little. I’m glad to see that there will be a sequel soon and I look forward to reading more about Betsy. B+ for you.

~Jayne

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

7 Comments

  1. Karen Scott
    May 25, 2006 @ 04:16:44

    Just have to jump in and say how much I adore The Vicar of Dibley! Alice Tinker is obviously my fave character!

  2. Jayne
    May 25, 2006 @ 06:40:54

    Alice was such a sweetie. I loved endings with the jokes as well. I’ll be honest and say that the first season was my favorite. The second one seemed to have more pointless episodes (one I remember had some ballerina who basically just stood around and smiled) and also the humor seemed a little cruel, especially towards Alice. The last season was OK but not equal to the first.

  3. Jay
    May 25, 2006 @ 09:50:53

    Hmmm, I’m not big on religion and will actually run in the opposite direction usually, but this sounds fairly interesting. Perhaps worth checking out of the library…

  4. Jayne
    May 25, 2006 @ 09:56:51

    So few authors handle religion well, IMO and I’d usually be right behind you Jay as you raced away from any religious book. I’d be interested in what you think of it since I’ve not heard of any one else trying this one yet.

  5. AAR Rachel
    May 25, 2006 @ 13:13:35

    I really liked it and gave it a B last summer at AAR. I put Earth to Betsy on my wishlist at Amazon after being reminded of the sequel by your review.

    Patillo is a completely non-preachy author and I think the book makes some points about the religious glass ceiling that most women readers might be nterested in reading.

  6. Jayne
    May 26, 2006 @ 05:22:41

    Rachel, your review is the one to which I’m referring at the begining of my review. I wasn’t sure about the blog etiquette in regards to posting a link to a major review site. But if anyone wants to read Rachel’s review, it’s at AAR. The author’s last name is spelled incorrectly though in case anyone does a powersearch, so you might want to search by book title. ;)

  7. AAR Rachel
    May 26, 2006 @ 08:15:53

    Whoops about Pattillo’s name – that occasionally happens now because an editor inputs the book’s info into a database, so what’s there at the top isn’t put in by the reviewer. I always feel vaguely mortified when that happens as it definitely looks like I wasn’t paying attention. I’ll email someone about that.

    As for linking, I don’t think there’s a problem with that at all. If you were going to quote large portions of the review without linking to it, LLB might not like that. That’s only happened to me once that I know of, when Elizabeth Mansfield died and The Washington Post quoted at length from the interview I did with her without crediting the site at all. But that’s more like plagiarism than an etiquette error. Basically, I think the rule of thumb is, if it gets more traffic to the site, it’s okay.

    But don’t feel like you have to link – you’re impressions are just as interesting. They don’t need backup from me. :)

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