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:
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 them 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.
- 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.
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 wonderful 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.