Author Spotlight: Siri Mitchell

While Siri Mitchell’s work often includes an element of romance, the sub-genres her works fall into are often unique.

With a few exceptions, Mitchell’s works typically combine exaggerated humor with surprisingly thoughtful moments. I love most of Mitchell’s novels because they do this well. They dive into personality depths with levity, drawing out humor while amplifying a personality trait/difficulty/struggle so it can be identified more clearly. While this can be seen as unrealistic, I enjoy the amplification, seeing it more as a parable than a completely realistic lesson.

If you’re looking for an author with consistency that lightly illuminates matters of the soul, she’s worth a read.

Here’s a breakdown of her offerings:

Chick Lit

Early on in her career, Mitchell could be described as being part of the chick-lit genre. Humorous and sarcastic, her heroines struggled with hyperbolized situations that helped point to more realistic situations audience members could be familiar with.  The Cubicle Next Door, Moon Over Tokyo, Kissing Adrien, and Chateau of Echoes tell stories of women learning to experience life outside their own comfort zones.  Each of these offerings include some good character development in a light-hearted setting.

  • The Cubicle Next Door and Kissing Adrien are the most chick-lit-ish of the four.  Read chateau of echoesthem for laughs – but be willing to consider the truth behind the silliness.
  • Moon Over Tokyo and Chateau of Echoes offer slightly more subtle reads.  Moon Over Tokyo reads more like Women’s fiction than romance (the romance is there, but is centered significantly on the main character’s growth).  Chateau of Echoes has an air of mystery.  While I find the mystery falls short, the main character does not and I still find it a highly worth while read.

Historical Fiction

Historical fiction seems to be Mitchell’s bread and butter, with her next nine offerings taking place in various historical settings.  Topping this list are Love’s Pursuit and The Messenger.

  • Love’s Pursuit offers a refreshing contribution to the romance genre – one that fulfills a reader’s desire for character growth without falling into every typical romance plot point.
  • The Messenger offers a story of a Quaker woman’s struggle during the Civil War as she discovers what it means to strive to serve God, even when the answer seems at odds with her faith.

Iris Anthony

Siri Mitchell also writes under a pseudonym: Iris Anthony.  Her two volumes written under this name are period tales that fall outside the realm of standard “Christian fiction.”  I recommend them as they are quality reads.  Try The Miracle Thief and The Ruins of Lace.

  • While The Miracle Thief summarizes like a work of faith, it does not fall clearly into the Christian fiction category.  The faith is more history-based, but it does pose some intriguing questions about faith, action, and how they relate.

A couple noteworthy additions:

  • She Walks in Beauty is an interesting read for its historical setting.  The Gilded Age has always fascinated me.
  • Like a Flower in Bloom is one of my favorite Siri Mitchell titles.  In it we get a like a flower in bloomwonderful look at the inner thoughts and wrestlings of an introvert who seems to have many reasons to be confident, but finds every reason to doubt her own worth, including loved ones who unconsciously contribute to her own doubts. The external circumstances are pronounced and rife with exaggeration, but I found Like a Flower in Bloom to be a powerful work that manages to pose good questions about how to accept the person we were born to be instead of wishing to fit into a different mold.

 

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Author Spotlight: Siri Mitchell

  1. Abigail says:

    I LOVE Siri Mitchell–although I think her earlier writing tops my list. My copy of Chateau of Echoes is dog-eared as is Moon over Tokyo. Of her historicals, I agree with your assessment–The Messenger was fantastic. So was Love’s Pursuit, but it was soooo sad I can’t read it again! Love the cover though. One of my all-time favs.

    Did you read a Heart Most Worthy? I didn’t care for it the first time I read it. But then last year I picked it up again and was able to appreciate it so much more. As a writer, I’ve noticed that the more I write, receive feedback, rewrite, and study the art of writing, my tastes in reading have changed. It takes a really good writer to make me lose myself in their story so that I lose my critical eye. I have a few fav authors that do that for me. 🙂 Have you read Susan Meissner? She’s probably my favorite of favorites.

    And, I have totally overused the word Favorite in this comment.

    Like

  2. Kate says:

    Hahaha. I echo your sentiments of Chateau of Echoes and Moon over Tokyo – and actually felt the exact same way about A Heart Most Worthy. I, however, have not attempted a re-read. You’re spurring me on toward one, though.

    As for Mitchell, there’s something about both The Cubicle Next Door and Kissing Adrien that really got me (if we’re talking her earlier stuff), and I did enjoy Like a Flower In Bloom (though her latest, Flirtation Walk, was my least favorite of all of hers). Have you read her two novels she published under her pseudonym, Iris Anthony? I’ve only read The Miracle Thief, but I did enjoy it.

    Like

  3. Abigail says:

    You know, I haven’t tried either under her pseudonym. I had found the Ruins of Lace a couple years ago, but had just given birth and wasn’t really in the mood for a serious epic. (yeah, I wasn’t good for much at that point except rewatching the Office and skimming old Robin Jones Gunn that I can’t quite bring myself to part with even though I’ve moved beyond it.)

    Anyway, I forgot to pick it back up. So thanks for the reminder! I’ll see if I can get a copy of it. 🙂

    Yes, I loved Kissing Adrien. And the Cubicle Next door. I read them a while ago, feeling a strong connection to each as both mirrored my recent past in very different ways. I wish she’d right some more in that vein. I like her historical fiction, but I prefer her contemporary fiction, I think.

    Like

  4. Kate says:

    Giggling yet again. About the mirroring “recent past in very different ways.” I connected similarly to those two books. 🙂 And I’d agree, Mitchell’s contemporary has a really nice voice to it that works (for me, at least).

    Hahaha…Robin Jones Gunn. Another name from my reading past. Of course. 🙂 It’s been a while, though, and I don’t think I have any of them around any longer.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s