A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman (The Daughters of Boston, Book 1) (Revell, 2008), 480 pages
Book 3, A Passion Denied, came out a couple months ago.
I read the second book in this series, A Passion Redeemed, in April [A Passion Redeemed at Amazon]. I don’t usually read a series out of order, but I did this time. While I stated in my review of Book 2 that it was OK to read the second book without reading the first book, I need to amend that now. Yes, it’s OK to start with Book 2. But don’t start with Book 2 if you ever hope or plan to go back and read Book 1. Because much of the enjoyment of Book 1 is taken away by knowing things from Book 2. The story lines are more intertwined than I’d thought, from my reading of Book 2. So, like all series, I recommend starting with Book 1.
A Passion Most Pure opens in Boston, in 1916. Faith, the oldest daughter of Patrick and Marcy O’Connor, 18, is trying to ignore her own feelings for the rogue her 16-year-old sister Charity is sneaking around with. Partly because her sister’s claimed him, but also because this guy is no good. And then there’s the question of whether to tell her parents, who have expressly forbidden Charity seeing this Collin.
Things just get more messy from there, especially as it becomes clear that the United States will not avoid entering the war.
While in broad strokes, Book 1 could be called Faith’s story, and Book 2 could be called Charity’s story, Book 1 (A Passion Most Pure) is really much more than Faith’s story. Book 1 introduces the reader to the O’Connor clan, both those in Boston and those in Ireland. In Book 1, we get a good sense of who each character is. Lessman accomplishes this without the book feeling like a first-in-a-series, in that it’s so busy introducing characters that it action suffers, though, which is good.
This book has a lot of twists and turns. Sometimes it felt like too many. Toward the end, I noticed the author telling what happened and how the characters felt, rather than showing.
I didn’t love this book. Perhaps it’s (partly) because I read the second book prior to reading this book. I did love, though, the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. O’Connor. This is a strong, vibrant, beautiful marriage relationship, and too many love stories end at the wedding.
These are not good candidates for back-to-back reads. I recommend letting each book breathe before venturing into the next volume of the story.
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