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Operation Bonnet: A Novel Paperback – February 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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About the Author
More About the Author
Decades later, Stuart turned to writing to cope with the isolation and charming chaos of motherhood. A few vignettes turned into the seeds for a novel, which turned into a two-book contract. The Heidi Elliott books, _Balancing Act_ and _Bottom Line_, while not autobiographical, were much cheaper than therapy. _Act Two: A Novel in Perfect Pitch_ is the story of a diva who gets stuck in the Midwest against her will. The pig rump on the cover is an exceptionally clever visual cue.
_Stretch Marks_, a modern love story set in Chicago, and _Operation Bonnet_, the story of a young girl with wild hair and her dream to be a PI in Amish country, are Stuart's most recent titles and together sold more than 40,000 copies.
Top Customer Reviews
Nellie's big break comes when her boss hires an ex-Amish man, Amos Shelter, to build a miniature golf course. Amos hires Nellie to check up on his girl back home to see if she's seeing Amos' nemesis. Nellie manages to "break into" the Amish culture by stealing her professor's cooking classes and taking lessons herself, just so she can get a foot in.
But will Nellie be able to find out what is going on with Amos' girl? Does she have what it takes to be a private investigator? Will she be able to master the perfect pie crust?
OPERATION BONNET is being marketed as "Not your grandmother's Amish fiction." This kind of confused me at first, taking it literal, my grandmother didn't read Amish fiction... but as I read OPERATION BONNET, I understood the reasoning. If you are looking for a sweet romance or a cozy mystery involving the Plain folk, or even a woman's fiction about a girl struggling to find herself in Amish country, then OPERATION BONNET is not for you. This book is about a totally modern woman, smart, savvy and snarky, who's willing to break every one of the ten commandments to get what she wants.
OPERATION BONNET does start out a bit slow. I think that the author moved the prologue to the first chapter, as it seemed to start with backstory. But once it got past the fifth-grader with afro hair and started getting into the real story it got interesting and I laughed out loud several times. The ending of the story was an unexpected twist. I thoroughly enjoyed reading OPERATION BONNET and especially enjoyed the Afterwards section at the back of the book.
Nellie was annoying, egotistical, and not anywhere near as smart as she thought herself. As stated in my review title, I kept going back to see if it had been tagged a YA book. This was because of the overall lack of maturity this 20 year old "PI wannabe" displayed. She acted more like a 12 year old practicing to be Encyclopedia Brown while sending away for her decoder rings and giant magnifying glass. Other than Nona and maybe Matt the other characters were flat and mostly unnecessary. The whole Misti Pitz stuff made no sense---the same age as immature Nellie and she is married, had umpteen different "hostess careers," and is now pregnant. While Nellie still can't pick up her clothes from the floor and goes around standing on her head?
I enjoyed reading Trixie Belden when I was a kid (and in fact have a collection I told my son will be his "inheritance" someday) but to call this story a mystery is to insult Trixie, Nancy Drew, and Encyclopedia Brown. To sum up, this was not a mystery, it was a YA story about choices made and "growing up." The author would have been better served with a less annoying and more believable heroine and stuck to her growing up, "falling in love," and dealing with her Nona. The Amish "mystery" brought the whole project down.
But before long, I discovered that the main story is actually about Nellie's personal growth, rather than any of the many(!) subplots involving mysteries or the Amish. Throughout the book, Nellie struggles with the expectations of her wealthy parents; she works at a golf course owned by a family friend; she tests out her P.I. skills and helps her coworker, Amos, find out if his Amish love is going to marry another; she spends time with an Amish family who provide her with new perspectives on life; she navigates the turbulent waters of friendship that becomes love; she takes care of her aging grandmother; she cooks; she spends a lot of time at the grocery store running into a girl who made her miserable in junior high. Sometimes Nellie succeeds, sometimes she fails, and other times the side stories don't soom to reach any particular conclusion.
This book caught my attention because of its promise to combine Amish fiction with mystery–two of my favorite genres. As it turns out, the story doesn't really contain much of either. At first this disappointed me, but then I realized that I was missing the point. Operation Bonnet is about real life. Nellie is a decent but flawed person (a lot like you and me!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I generally avoid books about the Amish, so I hesitated before buying this one. Oh, am I glad I did! It was a delight to read. Read morePublished 11 months ago by DD in Texas
Book held my interest and waited to see what would dervelope next in story.Published 19 months ago by Jan
This was the first Kimberly Stuart book I picked up and I devoured it in a day. I'm now working my way through the rest of her books much too quickly. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Penny
This is the first Kimberly Stuart book I have read, and I enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure if a book written about the Amish community would hold my interest, but it certainly did. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Lynn A. Davidson
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I am so glad I read it. The characters are loveable and believable and interesting. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Sbedney
This story made me laugh and cry, I learned a lot (a to the Amish), and thoroughly enjoyed the side stories and writing style.Published 24 months ago by karen
A surprise sleeper for me. I was chuckling numerous times as I read this delightful tale of a young woman who aspires to be a PI and finds herself seeking a girl in an Amish... Read morePublished on December 1, 2013 by C.J. Darlington