Start your engines! At Every Turn by Anne Mateer is a fun, fast-paced inspirational story about an impetuous female race car driver in 1916 who speeds off with a dream to grow the church…but she has to keep a huge secret in order to do it.
Alyce Benson is a spunky young woman whose heart breaks for the children of Africa, and when she pledges $3000 of her own money to support ministry to them, she challenges her church to do the same. Surely her daddy, the richest man in town, will give her the money, even though he doesn’t share her faith. When he refuses to give a dime toward the church, Alyce tries to come up with the money herself, but learns holding onto it is much harder than she thought. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so Alyce convinces her father’s mechanic, Webster Little, to help her achieve her goal the only way she knows: she’ll earn prize money by pretending to be a man and secretly racing her father’s automobile.
I loved Mateer’s first book, and now that I’ve read the second, it holds my affections equally. The plot is pitch-perfect, and Mateer is a smooth writer with a fresh perspective, delightful dialogue, and deep characters. Alyce is a well-rounded heroine, with a strong faith but her share of flaws. Although her intentions are good and her goal is compassion, she nevertheless compounds her problems by taking matters into her own hands. She’s also easy to sway, which one character uses to his advantage. Still, she’s utterly relatable and likable. I rooted for her through every scene.
The romantic elements are slow-burning and sweet, and the faith elements are incorporated naturally. I loved reading to see how everyone turned out. I can’t wait for Mateer’s next novel!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was neither expected nor promised.