It's 1916 and we have an overly independent girl charging her church to meet her "$3000 pledge" to this mission work in Africa.
Let me repeat. It's 1916.
If you don't find any irony in the statement above, you are probably not interested in history at all, because I think it's very plain to anyone that no woman in 1916 would charge her church to raise or meet her three thousand dollars. Three thousand dollars is a lot of money today (but do-able with social media, larger friend bases because of the ease of travel, etc), but in 1916, $3000 dollars could have very well been a million. It was an unreachable number for those common folks, and even a large and valuable some to the rich.
I think you can see what I'm getting at. It wasn't that the writing was poor, or the characters unlovable, it was just the simple preposterous-ness of the entire idea of the novel.
On the flip side -- the writing was quite good, the characters cute, and there were quite enjoyable parts to the book! If you aren't into history (and if you like books written in first person which I really don't), this may be a book you would enjoy!
I've never heard of Anne Mateer before this, but I think her writing has a lot of promise, and I very much would like to see another novel by her! Here's to hoping the next one will have a feasible plot.