Book Review: At Her Fingertips by Kellyn Roth (Alice and Ivy #3)

About the Book-

Title: At Her Fingertips
Series: The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book #3
Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Women’s Fiction
Era: Late Victorian (1880)
Release Date: July 17th, 2021
Amazon || GoodReads

She’s willing to do anything to follow her plan.

Debutante Alice Knight is ready for her first social season in London. She’s determined to impress society and her mother with an affluent match, at last escaping her past and embracing a future of her own making.

Peter Strauss, an American reporter visiting England, isn’t exactly what Alice had in mind. However, his friendship proves invaluable as Alice faces the challenges of her debut. Almost immediately, she attracts the attention of a well-born gentleman—perfect save for the simple fact that he’s not a Christian.

The life she longs for is finally at her fingertips, but between her own heart and the convictions of her faith, she isn’t sure she ought to grasp it.

My Review-

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This is book 3 in Kellyn Roth’s Alice and Ivy series, and I was looking forwards to reading it! While books 1 and 2 were set fairly close together, this book was set quite a ways after, when Alice and Ivy are 18. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I did the earlier ones, but I still enjoyed being immersed in their world and following along their stories!

This book was once again told from Alice’s point of view, as in The Dressmaker’s Secret (book 1). In this book Alice felt really immature and shallow, and while she goes through a lot of character development, overall, I still felt like the character from book 1 that I so related to and enjoyed following was gone. Instead in her place was a little brat who didn’t really seem to consult God in her life, unlike the Alice from book 1. She was going through her first Season in London, and the entire time she was obsessed with getting married and starting a family, and all but disregarded wise input from trusted people in her life.

The pacing of this story was much slower than the other two books: it was too long in my opinion, and I had to force myself to push through it. While there were interesting segments, much of the book was spent in introspection and conversation, and it really wasn’t interesting to me. The love story also didn’t really make sense to me–while I understand the point of who Alice ended up marrying, I don’t think that it was the best fit, and there wasn’t any chemistry between her and her partner. I also really didn’t like the dehumanizing way that she treated Ivy: while Ivy might have been “slower,” there was no reason to baby her and insult her.

There were a lot of minor characters from previous books that didn’t make a reappearance, which I was really sad about! Mrs. Chattoway never showed back up, and Alice and Ivy’s parents weren’t in the book as much as I expected. Alice and Ivy have since added several younger siblings to their family, and Nettie’s growing family was also there, so it was lively, though the children weren’t really in the book much either. Since the previous book, a lot of the perspective of children seems to have been lifted, which was one of my favorite parts about the previous books, so I was a little sad to not have that, although I understand that the main characters are older now and that childhood innocence is no longer there.

This book is presented as women’s fiction, and is not for younger readers: there are some very heavy topics discussed that are not suitable for younger readers. There were a lot of hard topics discussed, which has been the part that has most impressed me about this series. In this book, miscarriage is the one mostly discussed, but also domestic abuse, rape, and the role of a family/marriage in a Christian perspective. However, in this book, some topics felt really preachy, particularly the one regarding marrying a Christian. While yes, it is important to pursue godly relationships and honor Christ in a relationship, having the “uneven yoke” discussion FOUR TIMES in a book is really too much.

There was a lot of talk about not marrying a Christian, so much so that some sections seemed repetitive. In addition, there was a segment at a masquerade ball where one of the characters spoke a lot about masks being “dehumanizing” and “a removal of personhood” and “taking away individuality,” clearly a reflection on the use of masks in the pandemic. While I am all for the inclusion of the author’s perspectives in a book, this inclusion was unnecessary in my opinion.

The Gospel message was not quite as clearly presented in this book as the others, which was a little disappointing, though I expect that readers of this book are almost guaranteed to be Christian, considering how heavy the “you have to marry a Christian” talk is.

Overall, I did enjoy being in the setting again, though this book wasn’t my favorite out of the series. I’ll continue to read the rest of the books Kellyn Roth puts out, because I am invested in these characters now, but I think that books 1 and 2 are looking to be my favorite out of the series.

My Rating-

5/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author-

Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women’s fiction & romance author from North-Eastern Oregon who has independently published multiple novels, the most notable being The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series. You should definitely call her Kell.

Kell lives on family-owned property outside an unmemorable but historical town with her parents, two little brothers, arbitrary cat, precious border collies, a dozen cows, and lots of chickens. She also possesses a classic, vintage aesthetic which does not at all speak to her country girl side, but such is life.

When not writing, Kell likes to blog, teach writing to her various students, have day jobs which allow her to keep her car properly insured, and spend lavish amounts of money on Dairy Queen french fries. She also likes to talk about Keira Knightley and her own books way too much.

Website || Blog || Newsletter || Instagram || Facebook || Twitter || GoodReads

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