Sep 13, 2011

| monthly book reviews :: a heart most worthy

A Heart Most Worthy 
by Siri Mitchell 

Rating :: 4 ½ stars 

Source :: Local Library

Cover Summary ::  
In 1918 Boston,
three seamstresses dare to dream 
of a better life. 

Fiery Julietta 
pursues love recklessly. 

SHY Annamaria 
falls for the wrong man. 

SECRETIVE Lucianna’s 
past endangers them all. 

Drawn together amid the opulence of Madame Fortier’s dress shop, will each find the fairy-tale ending she seeks? 

Excerpt :: 
On May 2, 1918, a short article appeared in the Boston Globe. It was only three sentences long; not an article really. Just a mention. It appeared on page twenty-four on the outside column, where most people hold on to a newspaper. I’m sure you wouldn’t be very surprised to  know that few people noticed it as they read the paper that morning and several people smeared jam on it as they turned the page. Only a very few read it.

Heiress Disappears

On the night of April 12, the Count of Roma was assassinated by an anarchist’s bomb at his house in that eternal city. His mother, the contessa, and his daughter were not harmed in the blast, but were later found to have disappeared. The new count suggests sinister persons may be involved.

Rare was the person who consulted the Globe those days for any news other than the war. There were no tears in America to spare for luckless Italian counts their vanished daughters; there were still too many left to shed for lost sons and wounded fathers. For the scoreds - the hundreds, the thousands - being killed on the battlefields of Europe every day. So it could be expected that a small article about an insignificant foreign incident, buried in the depths of the newspapers, garnered little attention.

Except that actions committed on one side of the world have a way of impacting the other. And people previously unknown to one another happen to meet all the time. In the Italian-speaking North End that day, copies of the Globe were used to wrap fish and line cupboards, while up on Beacon Hill, the newspaper was read from page to page, top to bottom. And in one particular house, the lady of that mansion sniffed as she sipped her tea and thought how it was just like an Italian to be blown up by one of his own kind. 

Two of the people mentioned in the article had access to the paper that day, but the hapless heiress couldn't read English, and the sinister persons were too busy hatching evil plans to bother with a propaganda tool of the capitalists' machinations. And so the fact that there had been an assassination registered to no one in particular. And life went on just the way it usually does. 

But fate has a way of laughing at human ignorance and God spins mysterious plans, and by August that Italian count's death would start to matter very much to quite a few people who had never known him at all. 

~ from A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell Chapter 1, pages 11 & 12  

Synopsis ::  In 1918 Boston, we meet three Italian immigrants searching for dreams in the New World. Three young ladies dreaming of love. Julietta dreams of falling passionately in love and pursues her fanciful romances recklessly, while Annamaria dreams of having a husband and family of her own but resigns herself to the orders and commands of her family. But one holds a secret that could risk her life and the safety of those she comes to love the most and dreams of romance are the last things on her mind, for you see Luciana is - was - the Countess of Roma. 

Three young ladies’ love stories woven and sewn together in Madame Fontier’s dress shop while the war rages around them. Will each of them find what their hearts seek? 

My Thoughts :: It was a lovely story and I read it within a day. I am quite fond of anything that has to do with seamstresses and dressmakers, Italy, and the Victorian era, so this was the perfect novel for me. Siri Mitchell has a way with words that made the readers, not only read the story, but stir the emotions that the characters felt. I nearly cried when Annamaria was treated to poorly by her family or, when Luciana was comforted by her friend.  

Pros ~ Wonderfully written! Sprinkled with the right about of romance and intrigue.  

Cons ~ Since Julietta {one of the main characters} pursued love in ways inappropriate, there were a few parts I would not suggest for younger readers. The word, “whore” was mentioned twice and there were a few kissing “scenes” between the characters before marriage.

Some of the story was difficult to read, for when the author wrote about a character it was from their point of view, quickly changing from one to the next so the reader had to pay special attention. 

Paragraphs {{or chapters}} of note :: 
She was filthy, dirty, and shiftless. She was scum. 
But Billy didn't know any of that. And he would never have imagined those words in conjunction with her. He only knew that she was distressed. So he violated every rule known to polite society. In both his world and hers. He stepped around the table and took her into his armes.

Bent on maintaining control, she clenched her hands against the emotions that raged inside of her. But it was useless. She burst into tears anyway. And then she lifted her arms and clasped them about his waist. 

"It's alright." He murmured the words into her hair and then pulled her closer. "Everything will be alright." As he spoke the words, he discovered that they were a promise.

She knew it wouldn't. Nothing would ever be right again.

~ from A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell Chapter 30, page 239  

{this paragraph almost made me cry...I love it when books are so good, they make you do that sometimes}.

Recommendations :: Readers who are avid readers of historical fiction {as I am} sprinkled with a bit of Victorian romance and suspense will love this book, although with the little romance that is throughout the book I would recommend it only for young ladies 15 years and older.

About my rating system and recommendations :: I concentrate on the plot, characters, morals, and especially the writing style. I am not paid to do these reviews, and all thoughts and writings are my own. The purpose for these reviews are to give young ladies book recommendations that are SAFE to read, as such books are rare these days.   

Although, I am 14 {turning 15 next month}, if the book contains a little graphic romance, I usually recommend the books to a higher age level than myself, so that younger ladies will not stumble upon something within a book that they or their parents may disapprove. 

{{Have a book or movie you would like to be reviewed? Leave a comment!}} 



  1. I have seen this book before and I wanted to read it. I think i'll go and try and find it at a library now. :)

  2. Which library did u get it from? They don't have it at Paso.

  3. Your description is lovely.. It seems very good book!!

    Check out my last post


  4. Grace,
    How did you do that with your pages on the side?
    I would really apprectiate you telling me how!
    your follower, Sophie from:

  5. Thank so much for the review Grace! I saw this book at the library but didn't know whether or not to get it. I find myself often getting wrong throughts in my mind if I read passionate romances and I'm currently trying to wean myself off such books. I really like how you whent into a detailed review and told the amount of romance, for this always helps me most! I would love to see more Victorian era, regency era etc. type novels reviewed! Thanks so much!

  6. This is on my to-read list! Have you read She Walks in Beauty? It's my favorite by her.

  7. I really want to read this book, but there are SO many I really want to read! :P

    For now, I need to finish with my library books and then work on my own collection, so I can get through all I own before going to college! :P