Book Review: "Hatteras Girl" by Alice Wisler

There are two things twenty-nine-year-old Jackie Donovan asks God for: an honest, wonderful man to marry, and to own a bed-and-breakfast in the Outer Banks region. In the meantime, Jackie works for Lighthouse Views magazine, writing articles about other local business owners, and intrepidly goes on the blind dates set up by her well-meaning but oh-so-clueless relatives.

There's one specific property Jackie dreams of purchasing: the Bailey Place, a fabulous old home where Jackie spent many happy childhood afternoons, a place that has now fallen into disrepair because of its outrageous price tag. When Jackie meets handsome Davis Erickson, who holds the key to the Bailey Place, Jackie is sure God has answered both her prayers. But as Jackie learns some disturbing details about Davis's past, she begins to question her own motivation. Will she risk her long-held dreams to find out the truth?

I grew up in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia,which includes Virginia Beach. The Outer Banks is about an hours drive away. Interestingly though, I have been to the Outer Banks more times than I have Virginia Beach. I would go with friends and either stay at their parents houses or when we got older we would rent houses ourselves. It's one of the most relaxing ways to be spend a week in the summer. This is part of the reason why I enjoyed reading this book so much. I knew where Jackie was and I could relate to the entire experience because I've done it myself.

Most of the story is devoted to Jackie's quest to finding the guy of her dreams and acquiring the house of her dreams. Throughout the story she finds herself in different situations trying to fulfill both these conquests. Along the way she also has to encounter helping out her friends. I love how she's very realistic about some things. For example, she gets really annoyed at her friend's young son at times. It's nice to know that not everyone loves children 24/7 and that yes sometimes kids do get away with things they aren't supposed to and adults just let them. Another situation happens near the end of the story when Jackie gets very irritated with a guy and just barely resists hitting him because he was incredibly obnoxious. There were times though when I wanted to scream at Jackie because it seemed that she was ignoring the warning bells that were kinda obvious involving one of the guys she liked. But it happens to almost all of us so it's forgivable.

Something that I found very interesting about this book is that Jackie is half Asian, Korean to be specific. I found this interesting because none of this is indicated on the cover or in the description. Jackie's last name is not Asian and the girl on the cover looks like she is Caucasian. During the story it is brought up several times. I think only once it mentions her appearance, the other times it is because of her mother. While I greatly appreciated that Jackie's ethnicity is not a main focal point and is treated as just an every day thing, the only qualm I had was the treatment of her mother. Jackie's mom is Korean and is shown talking with a typical Asian accent. This means saying stuff like "Why this no good for you?" Personally I HATE it when characters talk like this. While it might be true that some Asian immigrants do talk like this, I find it very annoying. To me it's almost like the exaggerated "slave talk" during the Civil War. Sometimes it gets very stereotypical.

Other than this I enjoyed this book. It's a good relaxing romantic beach read. While it's not as "literary fiction style" as Wisler's previous books, I did enjoy how she's able to write well in this genre. This is a great book to read during cold winter days as it will take you far away, to the warm days of summer and to imagine you are back on the beach.

Hatteras Girl by Alice Wisler is published by Bethany House (2010)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


  1. As a new Bethany House author, I was interested in your review of this book.

    Thank you for daring to be real and let readers "hear" your voice.



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