Blog Tour: A Prayer Unanswered by Kellyn Roth (Alice and Ivy #5) || Spotlight and Book Review

Beyond Her Calling

About the Book-

When her world is set adrift, she grasps for the strength to hold on …

As Alice Strauss enters her first year of marriage—full of optimism and determination—she finds herself wholly unprepared for reality. In a new country, with a new family, she struggles to find her footing. Difficult relationships and situations batter her, but she is determined to establish a perfect life with the man she loves.

Unfortunately, perfection seems just beyond her reach. An unexpected tragedy flings Alice out of control, and she struggles to rise from the ruins. Her world is full of spinning variables and agony beyond anything she has ever experienced.

However, there is hope—in a God who loves her and a future established for her since before time began. Yet the devastation of Alice’s life seems beyond even the touch of grace.

Series: The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 5 (Alice #3)
Release Date: July 10, 2022
Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction
Amazon || Goodreads

My Review-

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This is the 5th book in the Alice and Ivy series by Kellyn Roth, which is a series that I have been following over the past few years and really enjoyed.

tw // child loss/miscarriage/infertility, alcohol use, postpartum depression/depressive episodes, suicidal idealization/attempt, minor mentions of being drunk and someone being conceived in rape/out of wedlock

This book was from Alice’s perspective, which hasn’t been my favorite. Alice is flighty, with a strong head for doing what is “right,” and stubborn to the point of being foolhardy. To this end, she ends up making mistakes, withdrawing, and succumbing to a deep depression. She pulls away from her husband, who is trying his best to support her, and she relies on herself to the point where she feels like she cannot go on.

This book was HEAVY. There was a LOT of mature content that was covered. It is marketed as women’s fiction, and discusses many adult topics including marital intimacy, and pregnancy/miscarriages. Everything was spoken about in a deeply moral sense, including mentions of being intimate in a marriage without being “unbiblical [. . .] that allow God the possibility to work if He so pleases” and a couple scenes where one of the married characters asks their spouse to “be with them” that night. There was a very vivid scene of a miscarriage, and a pretty graphically (but one room over) childbirth. There were multiple passages describing someone in a deep depression, to the point where they did not leave their room for weeks to months on end. There were definitely scenes that were a little too graphic and were a bit triggering for me, and I had to skim through some sections.

One thing that frustrated me about this book was that Alice and her husband, Peter, did not communicate to each other as efficiently as that could have. Part of it was due to Alice feeling like she had to be “proper,” and not divulge “womanly secrets” about her period, but part of it was just due to propriety. If you are married, there should no longer be any secrets between you and your spouse: if you have been made one, there is no point in keeping secrets, especially about things as heavy and deep as Alice did. At the same time, Peter also made decisions without referring to Alice, and this was presented as “Alice obeying Peter” but at the same time, marriage is a partnership, and moving across states is definitely a “talk with your partner” decision, not a “listen to your husband” decision. This communication barrier was pretty frustrating at times, but it did eventually start to get resolved as the book went on.

As for the plotline of the series, some pretty big things happen in this book. Ivy and Jordy get married (and their marriage seems a lot more wholesome and sustainable than Alice and Peter’s, I must say), and Nettie reveals a secret to Alice that I think should have been revealed a while ago.

There was A LOT of talk about being “moral” in this book, whether in a marriage, or just in daily living. There were several pretty deep discussions about whether or not something was Biblical, and while I appreciate that, it got to be a bit overbearing at times. It seems like the author is injecting a lot of her personal opinion into this book (and series), some of which I agreed with, and some of which I did not. There were some disparaging things said about women, along the lines of “don’t mess up her kitchen, you know how a woman gets when you mess up her kitchen,” which left a pretty nasty taste in my mouth. There are some pretty dark things said about miscarriages and what that means about a person’s character that I really disagreed with. [spoiler in the next paragraph, highlight to read]

Alice alludes several times that her miscarriage was her fault, and that her husband would never forgive her for not giving him a child. She has a really unhealthy relationship with having children, and said that the people she knew who had miscarriages were “aligned with God, and it was some strange, ill fortune that she had experienced miscarriages,” while her own was unforgivable. I was expecting someone, such as Peter, to come in and tell her that miscarriages are something that occur because of a fallen world, and it was not her fault, but that never happened. It seems as though the author does at least subconsciously believe that miscarriages can be controlled and are somehow inherently sinful, which is really sad.

Overall this book was certainly the heaviest out of this series to date: the author said that this was the climax to the generations-long drama and relationships, but it was a little too heavy for my liking. If you are looking for a heavily moral adult women’s fiction book, this is the book for you. I’m looking forwards to reading book 6, from Ivy’s perspective!

My Rating-

3/5

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.

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